Place: China
Year(s): 2001-2002
Sector: Biomass & Bioenergy

Large bio-ethanol project from Sweet Sorghum in China and Italy

The ECHI-T project aims at elaborating a technical, economical and financial feasibility study on integrated bio-energy/bio-ethanol/DDG (distiller’s dried grains) production from Sweet Sorghum. The main goal of the project is to attract private capital investors. Three plant configurations (from the reception of the biomass at the plant gate to the products supply) are developed in three selected sites, two in China and one in Italy. The whole biomass chain (production of the resource, market for the products, etc.) is evaluated as well.

The project intends to demonstrate that Sweet Sorghum, a very economically and environmentally promising energy crop producing high yields of grains, sugar and bagasse, can be integrally processed into various high value added commodities (as bio-ethanol, Distilled Dried Grain -DDG, electricity/heat, charcoal, hydrogen, activated coal, methanol, pulp for paper), with an overall positive economic performance and energy input/output ratio.

A selection of the possible processing steps is made to draw a preliminary configuration in each of the three sites: Basilicata region (South Italy), Dongying City region (Shandong Province, China) and Huhot City region (Inner Mongolia, China). A technical, economical, environmental and financial feasibility study is performed on each configuration.

The project contributes to the achievement of both European (renewable energy in transport, Kyoto protocol) and Chinese (national ethanol in transport programme) policy goals.In fact, while bio-ethanol can be used in transports to reduce emissions through gasoline reformulation, the integrated Sweet Sorghum processing will provide a sustainable food/feed resource (DDG) and will increase jobs and decentralised renewable energy production in rural areas. The ECHI-T project is supported by the European Commission within the 5th Framework Programme (DG Research). The project is carried out by a consortium of European and Chinese partners.

European Commission DG-Research – Fifth Framework Programme

Project Partners

ETA-Florence Renewable Energies – Florence, Italy (co-ordinator)
COTEI – Florence, Italy
SIEMENS KWU – Erlangen, Germany
WIP – Munich, Germany
BAFF – Oernskoeldsvik, Sweden
ISCI – Bologna, Italy
SORGHAL – Huy, Belgium
EUBIA – Brussels, Belgium
ENERGIDALEN – Solleftea, Sweden
Berwin Leighton Paisner – Brussels, Belgium
CAREI – Beijing, P.R.China
E&E – Beijing, P.R.China