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AustroCel Hallein, Austria (pulp and paper)

BIOFIT Case Study: Fermentation of liquor at the AustroCel Hallein pulp mill in Austria for the production of advanced bioethanol

Under the lead of project partner BEST, the fermentation of sulphite spent liquor from the pulp production at AustroCel Hallein in Austria will be investigated. Retrofitting could lead to the production of 30 million litres of advanced bioethanol per year.

AustroCel processes spruce wood and dissolves pulp for cellulose applications, with a capacity of 160,000t/a. The retrofit will add a fermentation step for the spent sulphite liquor. During the pulping process, sugar is resulting, which will be distilled and subsequently fermented to advanced bioethanol. The planned capacity of 30 million litres per year will be sold to OMV, the only Austrian fossil refinery, in order to substitute about 1% of the Austrian petrol consumption.

The Kick-off meeting took place in Hallein, in mid-2019. Main focus of the case study is the evaluation of a viable and sustainable advanced bioethanol production and its market. AustroCel already started to build the advanced bioethanol production plant. The plant has an investment volume of about 42 million euros and is scheduled to go into operation at the end of 2020.