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Polygeneration of bioethanol, biogas, heat and eletricity by Sun Power Plant Project Ltd. „S3P“

Project Leader
Amon Thomas, BOKU Project Leader
Type of Research
Applied Research
Project partners
Biogest Umwelttechnik GmbH, Steyrer Straße 39, 4522 Sierning, Austria.
Contact person: DI Martin Schlerka;
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
Christian Carl Ing. GmbH, Ziegelstraße 21, 73033 Göppingen, Germany.
Contact person: Alexander Plank,;
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
GE Jenbacher GmbH & Co OHG , Achenseestraße 1-3, 6200 Jenbach, Austria.
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
Sun Power Project GesbR, Neubergstraße 13, 2100 Stetten, Austria.
Contact person: Ing. Karl Holzer,;
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
Bauer Alexander, Sub Projectleader
Amon Barbara, Project Staff
Hopfner-Sixt Katharina, Project Staff (bis 30.06.2008)
Bodiroza Vitomir, Project Staff (bis 30.09.2008)
Leonhartsberger Christian, Project Staff (bis 31.01.2011)
Gspan Breda, Project Staff (bis 31.07.2010)
Simic Violetta, Project Staff (bis 30.06.2008)
Mayr Herwig Alois, Project Staff (bis 31.10.2009)
Ilic Desanka, Project Staff (bis 31.08.2011)
Milovanovic Dejan, Project Staff (bis 30.06.2008)
BOKU Research Units
Division of Agricultural Engineering
Funded by
Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology, Renngasse 5, 1010 Wien, Austria
The objective of this study is to analyse the economic feasibility of fuel-bioethanol production in the region Harmansdorf/Rückersdorf (NÖ), partner of the so called leader region “10 vor Wien". Contrary to common bioethanol production in large-scale plants, this project scrutinises a decentralised small-scale plant that is to be embedded into existing regional structures.

The sustainable development of bioethanol as a renewable source of energy requires a holistic approach to feedstock production, energy supply, and utilisation of waste materials. Therefore, several environmental aspects are considered, such as sustainable crop rotation concepts for regional feedstock production, and the thermal utilisation of biogenous residual materials. In particular, an innovative combination of bioethanol- and biogas-plants is to be set up. To close the ecological cycle, the resulting biogas residues are supposed to be reintegrated as fertilisers.

From a technical point of view, optimisation has to focus on improving heat integration, as small-scale plants still show rather poor energy efficiency. Another issue is whether the economic efficiency of the total system as well as individual process components can be improved. For example, the state of the art technology for ethanol dewatering is adsorption – in large-scale production, however. As the implementation of an adsorption unit in small bioethanol plants is comparatively expensive, membrane technology emerges as interesting and – due to the modular concept – cheaper alternative. With gas permeation and pervaporation, two membrane separation methods will be investigated theoretically, followed by laboratory experiments with the more promising method.

The main emphasis of this study is to cover the energy demand of the bioethanol plant exclusively by exploitation of residual substances of the process. By fermentation of the total amount of distillation residue (stillage) and varying amounts of other biomass (e. g. residues of feedstock harvest) biogas will be produced. Due to the fact that the plant-specific usage of biogas – CHP, biogas boiler or turbine – influences the quantity of heat produced, adequate heat supply has to be ensured by adapting the biogas feedstock for each option, e.g. by changing the ratio of stillage to co-substrates. Different feedstock compositions are to be examined in regard to biogas yield, optimal fermentation parameters, as well as the quality of residual biogas manure in terms of fertiliser. Batch and continuous experiments are conducted for this purpose.

Based on simulation data different scenarios of small-scale bioethanol production with innovative energy supplying facilities will be evaluated both energetically and economically. In conclusion a feasility study is elaborated, which points out the most valuable process combination for producing bioethanol in the region Harmansdorf/Rückersdorf – in the most sustainable way.

Keywords deutsch: Umweltforschung;Umwelttechnologie; Energieforschung; Erneuerbare Energie, Umweltschutz; Ackerbau; Energiewirtschaft, Biogas, Bioethanol, Agrarökologie; Biologischer Landbau; Energieträger, Nachwachsende Rohstoffe; Agrarökonomie; Agrarpolitik; Landwirtschaftliches Bauwesen; Nachhaltigkeit;

English: environmental research,environmental technology, energy research, renewable energy, environment protection, agriculture, energy industry, biogas, bioethanol, agroecology, agricultural cultivation, energy source, renewable raw materials, agricultural economy, agricultural policy,agricultural engineering, sustainability.
agronomy; cereal production, cereals; crop husbandry; agricultural ecology; renewable energy; renewable resources; environmental protection;
bioethanol; biogas; energy industry; renewable energy; sustainability; environmental research; environmental technology;

** Bauer, A; Bösch, P; Friedl, A; Amon, T; Analysis of methane potentials of steam-exploded wheat straw and estimation of energy yields of combined ethanol and methane production..

J Biotechnol. 2009; 142(1):50-55 WoS PubMed FullText FullText_BOKU

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