Distributed Approach Enables Local Production of Ethanol from Agricultural Residues
(Chicago, September 15 2020) Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL), a leading Indian Refining company based in Mangalore, is planning to install a second generation (2G) ethanol facility in the State of Karnataka, India.
MRPL has awarded LanzaTech the contract to commence the basic engineering for an integrated processing facility to convert locally available agricultural residues to approximately 16,000 metric tonnes (5.3M gallons) per annum of fuel grade ethanol. To convert the solid biomass wastes to gases, LanzaTech will deploy commercially proven gasification technology from Ankur Scientific, a waste to energy company that specializes in distributed production, based in Vadodara, India. The resulting carbon rich gas will then be converted to ethanol using LanzaTech’s commercially proven gas fermentation platform. The integrated technology will have the flexibility to process a wide range of biomass feedstocks enabling rapid replication at other locations.
A by-product of the project will be a nutrient rich biochar. This will be used as a sustainable and low carbon source of fertilizer for the local community.
The Indian government is encouraging production of cellulosic ethanol from agricultural wastes and residues that would otherwise be burnt on the fields and create harmful pollution. Not only does conversion to ethanol create a new source of income for local farmers, it is also in line with the governments biofuels roadmap to increase production of 2G, non-food or feed based ethanol across the country to meet its 20% ethanol blending mandate by 2030.
“In these times of huge changes and economic challenges, this project will hopefully define what the future could look like. This is a project that will not only make clean fuel but will put most of the money back into the local economy and create much needed rural jobs,” said Ankur Jain, Managing Director of Ankur Scientific. “Local agricultural residues from rural areas, with jobs in rural areas generating an advanced Biofuel – Can anything be better? We look forward to successfully commissioning this first of many projects.”
“This project with MRPL will show that a local distributed model is ideally suited to the production of fuels and chemicals through biotechnology,” said Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech. “MRPL’s commitment to sustainable development, local jobs and carbon emissions reduction is exemplified by this project and we are delighted to work with them to showcase the viability of distributed fuels production. If COVID and Climate Change are to teach us anything, it is that we must build resilient systems, this means distributed production must become an important part of the future of fuel production.”
Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) is a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. MRPL is located in a beautiful hilly terrain, north of Mangaluru city, in Dakshina Kannada District of Karnataka State (India). The 15 Million Metric Tonne Refinery has got a versatile design with complex secondary processing units and a high flexibility to process Crudes of various API, delivering a variety of quality products. MRPL, with its parent company Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), owns and operates ONGC Mangalore Petrochemicals Limited (OMPL), a petrochemical unit capable of producing 1 Million Tonnes of Para Xylene. OMPL, situated in the adjacent Mangalore Special Economic Zone (MSEZ), is integrated with the refinery operations. Para Xylene from OMPL is sold in the export market.
Ankur Scientific, has been working in the distributed generation area since 1986. The company deals in various Waste to energy equipment like gasifiers, sludge treatment facilities, etc. The company’s products are marketed in more than 40 countries worldwide. More than 1000 projects using over 60 different feedstocks have been executed by the company till date, including challenging wastes like MSW, RDF, Poultry litter, Waste tyres, EFB (Palm Waste) etc. Ankur Scientific has also won several international tenders from institutions like the European Union, World Bank, UNDP, UNIDO, Universities in the US, Asia, South America etc. It is also one of the 3 worldwide licensees of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for it developed technology, the Omni Processor (for fecal sludge treatment). Ankur Scientific is now working on various technologies to convert Biomasses and Wastes to Ethanol and Hydrogen. The company is headquartered in Vadodara, India employs more than 200 people.