Praj Industries, the globally leading biofuels technology a solutions Company announced break-through in cellulosic biomass to ethanol technology at Pilot Scale. Praj formally inaugurated its cellulosic ethanol pilot plant at its R & D Centre.
The Laboratory facility at Praj was put into operation in April 2008. The first phase of the program has now been achieved with this break-through wherein the pilot plant has successfully demonstrated production of ethanol from corn cob and sugarcane bagasse under varying operating conditions. This follows proven bench scale process development for which Praj has already filed for patents.
As production of ethanol is expected to double by 2012} feedstock expansion has become a top agenda, fostering intensive R & D activities in this field. Most of the R & D has been promoted in USA and some in Europe, mainly assisted through government grants. Praj advanced biofuels pilot plant will propel India into a different league of countries pursuing sustainable and secure energy resources.
Further work would also involve scaling up to the next level of 'commercial demo plant' where the Company plans to add on the cellulosic module to an existing conventional distillery where the basic feedstock is easily available. These break-throughs are expected to present a new set of opportunities for Praj. Praj is also working on technologies where the approach of cellulosic ethanol production process can be made widely applicable to other industrial chemicals/products. This will enable Praj to gain foot-prints in the domain of industrial Biotech.