Thailand pilot plant completed for conversion of sugarcane bagasse into raw materials for Ethanol

Jul. 6, 2018

Mitsui & Co., Ltd., together with Toray Industries and Mitsui Sugar, have completed a pilot plant in Thailand to demonstrate a manufacturing system to produce raw materials for ethanol from sugarcane bagasse, a project entrusted to the three companies by NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization). At this pilot plant, byproducts from residue left after extraction of juice from sugarcane, known as bagasse, will be converted into cellulosic sugar for use in bioethanol production. Other high value-added products like polyphenol and oligosaccharides will also be produced.
Before the plant began operations, a ceremony was held on July 6, 2018 to celebrate the plant's completion. The ceremony was attended by many, including officials from Mitsui & Co., Toray, Mitsui Sugar, Japanese and Thai government agencies, as well as local business people, construction workers, and other Udon Thani province locals.
This plant will demonstrate the practical application of Japanese membrane separation technology, using it to condense sugar solution from bagasse. By using this new technology, it will be possible to reduce energy consumption by more than 50% compared to the evaporation-based concentration processes used up until now.
Operations will begin in late July 2018, after which the plant's combined energy saving performance and production of high value-added products will be verified. In the future, this system can be spread to other parts of Thailand, which is a world-leading sugarcane production region. With this demonstration project, Mitsui & Co. will test the viability of these materials.

NEDO Project Title International Demonstration Project on Japan's Energy Efficiency Technology :Demonstration Project for an Energy-saving Cellulosic Sugar Production System Using Bagasse
Planned Project Period FY2016 - FY 2022
Processing Capacity 5,000 tons / year of bagasse on a dry weight basis
Cellulosic Sugar Production Capacity 1,400 tons / year (equivalent to bioethanol 700kl / year)
Entrusted Companies Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Toray Industries, Mitsui Sugar Co., Ltd.
Demonstration plantDemonstration plant