Completion of Demonstration Facilities for Bamboo Bioethanol Commissioned Project

January 19, 2012

  JNC Corporation (head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, President: Michio Morita) has undertaken the commissioned project by the Ministry of the Environment since FY 2010 and completed "demonstration facilities for production technology of bioethanol from bamboo" in the Minamata Factory in the end of November, 2011. Now, we will start test operations after confirming operability and safety of the facilities. JNC Corporation and JNC Engineering Co., Ltd. take charge of the design, construction and operations of the demonstration plant.

  Regarding this matter, we have undertaken the project for the "development of practical applications of high-efficiency production technology of bioethanol from bamboo" among the FY 2011 Projects for Technological Development of Measures to Prevent Global Warming by the Ministry of the Environment.   In order to establish a new system for producing bioethanol from bamboo which has a high regeneration power without competing with food, and a system contributable to the realization of low -carbon society, we will develop technologies with international competitiveness and technologies toward practical applications, and simultaneously will ensure better maintenance of uncontrolled bamboo groves and will regenerate forests in parallel.   The demonstration facilities have been constructed based on the research results in Kumamoto University and Sojo University, and bamboo materials to be used as raw material are procured from within Minamata by Minamata City and Minamata Environmental Research & Develop Center Co., Ltd.   We will perform tests using the demonstration facilities until the end of FY2012, and based on the data, examine the business feasibility of production of bioethanol from bamboo.

[Plant structure]   Site: 24 m × 18 m, 430 m2, indoor facilities with two-storied deck construction   Facilities: Installation of 9 facilities, including facilities for saccharifying bamboo powder (saccharification facilities) and facilities for fermenting saccharified solution to prepare bioethanol (fermentation facilities). Although the capacity cannot be determined due to the facilities being experimental, the production capacity is estimated to be about 10 kL/year.

[Work assignments in the project]
  (1)Survey and technological development for cutting bamboo from uncontrolled bamboo groves and for the carrying out system Assignment: Minamata Environmental Research & Develop Center Co., Ltd., Minamata City, JNC Corporation Contents: Survey of bamboo resources within Minamata and nearby areas, maintaining bamboo materials to be supplied to the demonstration plant and chipping of bamboo materials, examination of supply stability of chipped bamboo materials Bamboo powder to be supplied to the demonstration plant this time was collected from within Minamata.

  (2)Development of bioethanol production technology using bamboo as raw material Assignment: National University Corporation Kumamoto University, Sojo University, JNC Corporation Contents: Technological development of each step of the processes for producing bioethanol from bamboo Fermentum to be used for fermentation this time was developed in Kumamoto University and Sojo University. Methods for effectively using by-products will be also examined.

  (3)Design, construction and operations of demonstration plant Assignment: JNC Engineering Co., Ltd., JNC Corporation Contents: Design, construction and operations of the demonstration plant and examination of business feasibility

[Development]
  January, 2011   Completion of design of demonstration plant
  February to April, 2011   Completion of basement construction
  June to August, 2011   Order placement of facilities
  September to November, 2011   Installation
  December, 2011   Operation using water as a media (operation test)
  January, 2012   Start of test operations

[Concerned companies and organizations]
Minamata Environmental Research & Develop Center Co., Ltd.
  President: Kazutoshi Tanoeu, (Minamata Sangyo Danchi-Nai) 5-98, Hamamatsu-cho, Minamata, Kumamoto,
  867-8105
Minamata City
  1-1-1, Jinnai, Minamata, Kumamoto, 867-8555
National University Corporation Kumamoto University Faculty of Engineering
  2-39-1, Kurokami, Kumamoto, 860-8555
Sojo University Faculty of Biotechnology and Life Science
  4-22-1, Ikeda, Kumamoto City, Kumamoto, 860-0082
JNC Engineering Co., Ltd.
  President: Seiji Saeki, 8th Floor, Tsukamoto Dai-Chiba Building, 2-3-1, Fujimi, Chuo-ku, Chiba, 260-0015