The tiny Italian town of Crescentino has caught the eyes of many, as it is going to start a new chapter in clean energy sector will becoming world’s first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant, which will start production this year.
The Crescentino biofuel project has garnered interest in the sense that it will make use of second-generation biofuels that, unlike ethanol, are not made from food crops but use feedstocks including agricultural waste, energy grasses and algae. The project may seem to be small in size with output of just 60,000 tonnes of fuel a year, but it is going to herald a new movement in clean technology. This project would be a reply to those who have been against the biofuel production citing feedstock problems.
The Crescentino plant, €250m joint venture between Italian engineering and chemicals group Mossi & Ghisolfi and TPG part of Beta Renewables, will produce bioethanol from a giant reed, arunda donax, as well as rice husks, and wheat stalks.
This project is the first of a number of commercial-scale plants due to open this year, as companies move up from pilot and demonstration projects to industrial-sized facilities. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) research, about 20 such plants should begin operating in the next 18-24 months