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Press Release

Japan-China Joint Project to be Conducted in Heilongjiang Province, China

-Production of Bioethanol from Potato Starch Residue-
August  19,2015
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

NEDO has agreed to conduct a Japan-China joint project in cooperation with the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China to deploy and demonstrate technology to produce bioethanol from potato starch residue, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed on August 10.

This project will be conducted in China’s Heilongjiang Province to demonstrate technology utilizing advanced Japanese saccharification and dehydration technology to produce bioethanol from potato starch residue discharged from potato starch factories through the end of FY2017, with the aim of promoting the broader use of this bioethanol production technology.

  • Bioethanol Production Process
    Bioethanol Production Process

1.Project Overview

Car ownership has increased dramatically and gasoline consumption is also expected to increase significantly in the People’s Republic of China. In order to reduce gasoline consumption, the Chinese Government has set a goal to expand the availability of gasoline mixed with 10% bioethanol (E10) throughout the country by 2020. To achieve this goal, China will need to manufacture a sufficient amount of ethanol for fuel. At the same time, in order to avoid a sharp rise in food prices, the Chinese government does not permit the construction of new ethanol production plants that use food crops such as corn as raw material.

Based on this background, NEDO has agreed to conduct a Japan-China joint project in cooperation with the National Development and Reform Commission*2 of the People’s Republic of China to introduce and demonstrate technology to produce bioethanol from potato starch residue*3, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the project was signed on August 10. The project will use Japan’s advanced saccharification*4 and dehydradration*5 technologies at the Keshan factory of the Beidahuang Potato Group Co., Ltd*6 in China’s Heilongjiang Province to demonstrate bioethanol production technology using potato starch residue that was discarded in the past as a raw material. Sojitz Corporation and Hitachi Zosen Corporation will act as contractors on the project, which is scheduled to continue until the end of FY2017.

NEDO hopes the results of this project will serve as a showcase for potato starch residue-based bioethanol production technology, and aims to spread the use of the technology beginning with the potato-producing areas of Northeast China.

【Reference: Glossary】

*1 DDG: Dried Distillers Grain (used in livestock feed)

*2 The National Development and Reform Commission: Administrative department responsible for China’s macro-economic policy

*3 Potato starch residue: Material left over from the production of potato starch

*4 Saccharification technology: A technology for breaking down polysaccharides such as starch and cellulose into monosaccharides that can be fermented into alcohol. In general, ethanol production from biomass is conducted via enzymatic saccharification followed by ethanol fermentation by yeast, but potato starch residue has a complex structure formed of entangled starch and cellulose fiber that can pose a problem for saccharification via typical enzymes. In response to this, this demonstration uses the Acremonium filamentous fungus, which secretes a complex enzyme capable of decomposing (or saccharizing) potato starch residue, to make ethanol production possible.

*5 Dehydration technology: A technology to remove the water content from ethanol

*6 Beidahuang Potato Group Co., Ltd.: China’s largest potato starch production enterprise

2.For more information, please contact:

New Energy Technology Department, NEDO
TEL: +81-44-520-5271

International Affairs Department, NEDO
TEL: +81-44-520-5190