The platform is based on Proesa® technology, which converts biomass into second-generation sugars and then produces biofuels or, potentially, other chemical bio-intermediates. The industrial plant in Crescentino, in the province of Vercelli, produces bio-ethanol, as well as electricity using co-produced lignin from the linked biomass and biogas plants, for which a biomethane upgrade is shortly planned to allow network entry. The biomass plant for renewable energy generation and part of the water treatment plant with biogas production have already been restarted. Activities are ongoing to also restart the bioethanol plant within the first half of 2020. The Versalis Biotech research centres, located in Rivalta Scrivia, near Alessandria, and in Novara, are working to further develop production of a complete range of fermentative renewable products, such as bio-oils for bio-refinery, totally biodegradable polymers (polyhydroxyalkanoates or PHAs), intermediates for biopolymers and biochemicals, all made from second-generation sugars produced with PROESA® technology. Trials are also under way to develop lignin for new market applications. The plan also includes the re-launch of international licensing activities for the Proesa® proprietary technology for the production of second generation bio-ethanol, advanced bio-fuel, able to respond to the growing demand and sustainability requirements for bio-fuels provided for by various global regulatory instruments. Crescentino is a strategic site that strengthens Versalis's competitive position in the renewable chemicals sector and aims to develop a totally sustainable and integrated platform using only residual biomass that does not compete with food production.
Some project highlights:
250 250 tonnes/year
15 million €
investment in plant renovation
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