It was in the presence of Bart Tommelein – Vice prime minister of the Flemish Government and Flemish Budget, Finances and Energy minister - that the festivities took place.
Bio ethanol for petrol
At this moment, Alco Bio Fuel, as one of the biggest bio ethanol producers in Europe, manufactures 250 million litres of ethanol from 600,000 tonnes of grain. This is no less than two thirds more as compared to its initial capacity. Ethanol is a sustainable product that considerably reduces the CO2 emissions of transport fuels. Ethanol is usually mixed with petrol. In 2008, this ethanol generated 50% less CO2 emissions as compared to petrol. Today, this CO2 emissions reduction amounts to more than 80%, an important contribution to the fight against climate change.
Besides producing ethanol, Alco Bio Fuel recovers 100% of the protein from the used grain. This protein is then concentrated to 170,000 tonnes to form a component of high-protein animal fodder for cattle, pigs and poultry. It replaces genetically manipulated soy.
Bubbles and electricity
Every year, Alco Bio Fuel also purifies 100,000 tonnes of CO2 in its liquid form, an activity of the Joint Venture GreenCO2. This is being used for among other things bubbles in beverages, food packages and the horticulture industry.
The surplus of electricity that is produced by the cogeneration unit is injected back into the grid. This is enough to provide 8,000 households with electricity.
Investing in the future
Alco Bio Fuel does not stop here, says Charles-Albert Peers, chairman of the board of directors. Within a few years time, we want to obtain an average CO2 economy for our ethanol of more than 90%. We also want to further develop the concept of the bio refinery by innovating and diversifying our product portfolio: glucose for bio plastics, fodder with a high and purer protein content for fish farms, a purer quality of ethanol for the industry, the pharmaceutical and cosmetics sectors. By 2025 this will entail up to 50 million euros of extra investments.