How does Bioethanol from Biowaste work?

Before you judge that one form of energy is better than another, you must know how those systems work. Here is a video that educates you on that point exactly.


How do you make the world’s most environmentally-friendly bioethanol?
At St1, we were looking to answer this question when planning our own bioethanol plant. We started by putting aside all traditional ways of making bioethanol. We didn’t really want to make it out of crops grown and shipped from the other side of the world. Then, we notice how all around us, there is energy that literally thrown to waste: biowaste. The kind of leftovers which bakery, dairy factories, breweries, and numerous other food producers dump their landfills by the ton. The main challenge was transportation.

Traditionally, the waste get transported to one huge ethanol plant which is costly and time-consuming. In other words, completely wasteful. That’s when we understood we needed to turn around our way of thinking. We didn’t want to build one gigantic ethanol plant but many small ones instead. If the waste mountain won’t come to the plant, let’s bring the plant to the waste mountain. This thought brought about a completely new way of making bioethanol: dispersed production.

By building small ethanol units next to these factories, the biowaste and other leftovers don’t get sent to landfills anymore; instead, to a very efficient process of fermentation, they distilled into 85% alcohols. Even the energy to power this process comes from renewable resources. The leftovers from the fermentation process can also be used as feed for animals. And since the bioethanol plants are close to that build factories and farms, we save on transportation.

The same container trucks that re-stock from petrol station are used to move the ethanol from the small units to a larger plant. On their way back from the petrol stations, they simply fill their tank with ethanol, so we avoid driving empty trucks around. The ethanol needs to be boosted so it can be blended with petrol. We do that in a separate de-watering unit where the ethanol is turned into almost pure alcohols. Thanks to the day of advanced technologies, this process consumes very little energy.

That’s the idea behind St1’s dispersed ethanol production: We scatter small units all around the world next to food factories that produce biowaste and farms that can use the leftovers. We keep an eye on energy consumption and we keep the environment clean. This is how we create the world’s cleanest bioethanol without producing any extra greenhouse gases.

St1 energy company is implementing through operations its vision of being the leading manufacturer and vendor of CO2 -free energy products in Europe. St1 now operates more than 400 service stations in Finland, 41 stations in Sweden and 4 distribution units in Poland. St1 also sells electricity to consumers and smaller companies and is a large scale vendor of heating oil all over Finland.


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