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Sulzer’s technology to be used in pioneering Indian biorefinery

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

India’s national objective of achieving self-sufficiency in energy and reducing its fossil fuel footprint is being supported by Sulzer’s expertise in pump manufacturing and refinery processes. The country’s first biorefinery, Assam Bio Refinery Pvt Ltd., built bv Chempolis technology, is a joint venture (JV) that will be one of first refineries in the world to create bioethanol from bamboo – available in abundance in north-eastern India. To help realise this, Sulzer is delivering a range of engineered application pumps as well as core technology such as column internals for the refining process.

India, like most countries, is keen to improve the sustainability of its industrial sectors and is taking positive steps by using renewable feedstocks such as bamboo to create biofuels and other chemicals. To ensure a successful and reliable process, a JV has been formed between the state-run oil refining company, Numaligarh Refinery Ltd., and two Finnish companies, Fortum and Chempolis.

The facility will use Sulzer’s experience in pump design and manufacturing as well as separation technology to ensure long-term reliability and efficiency in the refining processes. The company’s expertise in the chemical industry is well-established and it has been supplying process pumps to similar applications all over the world for decades.

Once complete, the biorefinery will use 300 000 tpy of bamboo. In addition to the environmental benefits of the fuels and chemicals being produced, the refinery will procure bamboo and other raw materials from local suppliers, strengthening the community’s local economy.

Using Chempolis proprietary technology, the JV is demonstrating how India can utilise its own natural, sustainable resources to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and work towards self-sufficiency in energy production. The biorefinery is dimensioned to produce 60 million l of bioethanol, which can be used to help power vehicles, as well as 19 000 t of furfural and 11 000 tpy of acetic acid.

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