St1’s Etanolix® concept is based on dispersed production where the production and dehydration of bioethanol are separated. Etanolix® units turn bio-waste and by-products from the food processing industry into 85% ethanol. The ethanol is then shipped to St1’s dehydration unit in Hamina, Finland. The 99.8% bioethanol produced at the dehydration plant can be mixed with petrol without any additional processing.
St1 already has fully functional Etanolix® plants in Lappeenranta, Närpiö and Hamina, Finland. The construction of the fourth Etanolix® plant began towards the end of last year in Vantaa, Finland. The Lahti plant is expected to be ready for production in early June. All in all, the company plans to build between 10 and 15 Etanolix® plants in Finland.
The Etanolix® production units are built near feedstock sources that produce the right kind of fermentable waste. The Lahti plant will take its feedstock from the biodegradable by-products of bakeries, breweries and mills operating in the Päijänne Tavastia region. Multilateral collaboration will ensure that the bioethanol plant has access to sufficient volumes of feedstock and is able to operate efficiently and cost-effectively. The bakeries, breweries and mills that will be supplying the feedstock include the Lahti bakery of Fazer Bakeries, Fazer Mill & Mixes, Hartwall, Hollolan Hirvi, Lammin Sahti, Teerenpeli Group, Polttimo Group, Sinuhe and the Vääksy Mill.
”The Lahti Etanolix® plant is a great real-life example of both dispersed energy production and multilateral collaboration. The plant will be integrated into the production process of the Hartwall brewery, but it will also receive feedstock shipments from other sources nearby. This is an efficient way to maximise access to feedstock and to minimise transportation,” explains Mika Aho, Managing Director of St1 Biofuels Oy.
"Hartwall’s goal is to be the most responsible supplier in the drinks business. Every aspect of the Lahti brewery has been designed with environmental considerations in mind. The machinery and processes have been chosen on the basis of their water and energy consumption in particular, and our primary source of energy is natural gas. We also recycle a significant percentage of our packaging materials. The bioethanol plant will allow us to make even more efficient use of organic waste," says Timo Seppä, who is in charge of the production and delivery chain at Hartwall.
"At the moment, the yeast left over from the Lahti brewery ends up in the animal feed industry. The Etanolix® process will separate the ethanol from the yeast, after which the remaining dry yeast matter can still be used to make animal feed. All sugary liquids left over from our drinks production process will be led to the Etanolix® fermentation tank where the sugar will be turned into carbon dioxide and ethanol. Alcoholic waste liquids can be processed the same way as yeast," explains Jorma Rasi, Research and Development Manager at Hartwall.
Thanks to its patented process, St1 is able to refine the biocomponent of petrol in the purest way in the world. The low carbon dioxide balance of the Etanolix® process will be even better in Lahti than in the other plants, as the carbon dioxide produced during fermentation will be collected and refined in the carbon dioxide collection plant of Hartwall’s Lahti brewery. The refined carbon dioxide can then be re-used in the drinks production process.
This year also sees St1 introducing a brand new bioethanol production plant concept. The new BionolixTM plants will use domestic and commercial bio-waste as their feedstock. These next generation bioethanol plants, which are currently under development, will run on consumer, industrial and commercial packaging and straw, for example. These new sources of feedstock will multiply the possibilities of St1’s dispersed biofuels production concept.
For more information:
Mika Aho, Managing director, St1 Biofuels Oy
Jorma Rasi, Research and Development Manager, Oy Hartwall Ab
St1is a Finnish energy company whose vision is to be the leading producer and seller of CO2 good energy. The company researches and develops economically viable, environmentally sustainable energy solutions. St1’s energy services cover everything from energy consultancy to heat production solutions and wind power. As regards petrol sourcing, the company has a joint venture with the Finnish retail cooperative S Group, called North European Oil Trade Oy. The company has a total of more than 450 petrol stations in Finland, Sweden and Poland. The St1 Group employs just over 150 people, and its turnover will be in excess of 1 billion euros this year.
St1 realises its vision by turning waste into bioethanol with the help of its dispersed Etanolix® production concept, which has won the Finnish Chemical Industry Innovation Award, the national INNOFINLAND 2008 award patronised by the President of the Republic of Finland, and second place in the European Environmental Press Award 2008 contest.
Hartwall is an innovative trendsetter amongst Finnish drinks producers, and its brands enjoy strong loyalty in the market. Hartwall’s products include beer, cider and pre-mixed long drinks, bottled water, soft drinks and novelty drinks, and hundreds of wines and other alcoholic beverages through its subsidiary Hartwa-Trade. The company’s most recognised brands are Hartwall Jaffa, Hartwall Novelle, Upcider as well as Lapin Kulta, Karjala and Foster’s lagers. Hartwall employs around 1,000 people. Hartwall is part of Heineken, the world’s most international brewery corporation.