Biomass

Summary

Various countries are encouraging biomass utilization as a countermeasure against climate change. The chart shows two types of major biomass utilization, energy utilization and material utilization.

Technologies and type of biomass usage

Biomass-based Energy

Worldwide attention is being focused on the production and the use of bioethanol and biodiesel as promising carbon-neutral fuels. Due to a surge in food prices caused by the biofuels production in the early stages, recent biofuels are developed not competing with food resources. TOYO has worked on biofuels in collaboration with Toyo-Thai, Toyo-Malaysia and other Global Toyo companies.

ETBE(Ethyl Tertiary Butyl Ether)

Bio-ETBE is produced by synthesizing plant-derived bioethanol and petroleum-derived isobutene. Bio-gasoline containing bio-ETBE is supplied to ordinary automobiles at gas stations in the same manner as ordinary refilling.
When an automobile runs with bio-gasoline, a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (mainly CO2) from the automobile can be expected from the viewpoint of the carbon neutral concept.* The number of gas stations supplying bio-gasoline will gradually increase as permanent introduction of bio-gasoline is scheduled for 2010.
TOYO is implementing an engineering, procurement, and construction project to convert an existing MTBE (synthesized from natural gas-derived methanol and isobutene) facility to an ETBE facility for Nippon Oil Corporation Negishi Refinery. This facility will be the first ETBE commercial plant in Japan.

* According to the Kyoto Protocol, CO2 discharged from biofuel while it is burnt is not calculated as greenhouse gas emissions, because plants, from which biofuel is produced, absorb CO2 through photonic synthesis while they grow, and therefore CO2 discharged as the biofuel burns does not increase the total amount of CO2.

Biomass-based Materials

Polylactic acid


"Musashino Chemical Laboratory, Ltd. Biomass-based plastics Demonstration plant for Chemical recycling (feedstock recycle)"

Polylactic acid is a biodegradable,biopolymeric material. A wide range of use is expected for packaging containers, home appliances and automobiles, fibers and others. TOYO has participated in research and development projects supported by the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries in Japan, such as the production of refined lactic acid from raw garbage and the system for manufacturing polylactic acid from saccharide sulfates derived from waste wood. We have constructed a demonstration facility for chemical recycling (feedstock recycle) of polylactic acid (biomass-based plastics) in response to a request from Musashino Chemical Laboratory, Ltd.

Polylactic acid

Polylactic acid

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