Mr. Bemer explained why Nedalco has chosen to skip the pilot plant phase and is now planning to build a full scale production plant in Sas van Gent (the Netherlands), with an annual production capacity of approximately 200 million litres. A remarkable step, considering the increasing number of announced pilot plants in the E.U. and U.S.
The Feasibility of Yeast Based Cellulose Technology
“We are able to skip the pilot plant phase because our production technology is based on yeast, rather than bacteria” Mr. Bemer explains. “It’s a technology that we as an alcohol producer are very familiar with because it has been the work horse in the industry for years. We know how it reacts on a relatively small scale, and because it is a fairly robust system, we are confident that we can predict how it will react when implemented on a full size industrial scale.” “This is very different from technology based on bacteria, which is extremely sensitive to infections, making it very difficult to scale up. Although it is not impossible to keep such large systems completely free of infections, it is simply too expensive. For that reason, most companies that aim to develop bacteria based technology gradually increase the size of their pilot plants, to root out any imperfections. In our opinion, the chances for success through that road are relatively slim. We are however betting on a more robust technology.”