Delfzijl (Netherlands), June 24th 2010
Today the Queen's Commissioner of the Province of Groningen, Sir Max van den Berg, together with Rob Voncken, CEO of BioMCN, has officially opened the largest second generation biofuel plant in the world. With a production capacity of 250 million liters, BioMCN can immediately fulfill the entire Dutch biofuel obligation - a minimum of 4% blended into gasoline.
Bio-methanol is produced through an innovative process, patented by BioMCN, and is made from crude glycerin, a sustainable biomass which is a residue from industry processing vegetable oils and animal fats. The product is a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels.
In recent years, the sustainable nature of traditional first generation biofuels has come under pressure due to the alleged adverse effects such as deforestation and 'food versus fuel' implications. The emphasis in the political and public debate has shifted towards better and more sustainable biofuels - also referred to as second generation biofuels - which are not or significantly less subject to these negative effects. In comparison to regular methanol, bio- methanol reduces CO2 emissions by 78%. Therefore, bio-methanol is highly suitable to play an important and lasting role in the transition toward sustainable transportation fuels with low CO2 emissions. This is possible through the use of bio-methanol as a feedstock for other fuels or fuel additives such as MTBE, DME or hydrogen, as well as a fuel in its own right (e.g. M85).
Besides the sustainable character of bio-methanol, the concept of sustainability plays an important role in the philosophy behind the construction of the plant where the product is made. Instead of constructing a whole new plant, BioMCN took over the existing methanol installation on the chemical industrial area in Delfzijl. The former plant was built in the 1970's and has produced methanol out of natural gas for decades. When the plant closed its doors in 2005, a few visionary entrepreneurs saw their opportunity and decided to revitalize the plant. The result is BioMCN: a scalable plant with an equally sustainable and innovative product.