Cellulosic (2G) ethanol and the renewable and alternative energy development plan 2018-2037

Cellulosic Ethanol (2G : 2nd Generation) or ethanol produced from cellulose. It is ethanol produced from the main raw material of fiber and

agricultural waste such as rice straw, sugarcane bagasse, corncob and bark, etc. The technology used in production has been developed for a long time. But the factor that has prevented cellulosic ethanol from being commercialized worldwide is the high conversion cost and capital cost (CAPEX).

However, many countries in Europe and America are committed to promoting the production and use of Cellulosic ethanol with support in many places. Both sides provide funding to support the project. Various tax benefits including creating incentives for car users because he saw the benefits in both the reuse of unused waste Helping to reduce toxic pollution as well as reducing the amount of carbon dioxide from the production and use of Cellulosic ethanol. Thailand has promoted the production and use of ethanol fuel. to reduce energy imports from abroad Including promoting the use of agricultural raw materials to add value to agricultural products and generate additional income for Thai farmers. The goal is to promote the production and use of ethanol fuel to reach 7.5 million liters per day by 2037 according to the Alternative Energy Development Plan 2018 – 2037 (AEDP2018). 2018 – 2037) by using molasses and cassava as main raw materials. and has sugarcane juice as another alternative raw material This requires support for raw materials according to the Cane and Sugar Strategic Goals 2015 – 2026, as well as the Cassava Strategic Goals 2015 – 2026 to promote the increase in sugarcane and cassava production. to 180 and 59.5 million tons by 2026. If sugarcane and cassava production can be increased as targets are met, there will be enough raw materials to produce 7.2 million liters of ethanol fuel per day in 2018. However, the promotion of the production and use of ethanol fuel according to the renewable energy and alternative energy development plan In 2020 and 2021, sugarcane production dropped to 74.89 and 66.65 million tonnes, respectively, while cassava production did not increase as targeted. As a result, the price of raw materials for both molasses and cassava is higher. as well as the ethanol price rising to 25 – 26 baht per liter and the cancellation of gasohol E10 octane 91 phasing out several times, which is an important mechanism to increase the volume domestic use of ethanol fuel The latest has been postponed until the end of 2022. The success of the policy to promote the production and use of fuel ethanol can be achieved through a number of factors, in particular: 1) The quantity of raw materials must be sufficient; 2) supporting infrastructures 3) car user motivation and 4) Determination and control of the implementation of policies which must be consistent with each other It can be seen that in the past effective policy implementation still cannot occur as planned. Many of the postponements of gasohol E10 octane 91 phasing out were due to insufficient raw materials and higher ethanol prices. from raw material prices while the consumption declined from the epidemic situation of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the mechanism to increase the amount of ethanol fuel by phasing out of gasohol E 10 octane 91 has not yet occurred. up according to the plan It can be seen that the factors that affect the most are inevitable in terms of quantity and price of raw materials. including cassava and sugarcane In addition to having to accelerate the expansion of cultivation areas according to the plan which is still difficult The volatility and volatility of weather conditions is even more difficult. Thus, it is most evident from the impact of the decline in sugarcane production over the past two years, while cassava itself has a demand for the domestic industry and exports that appear to have the potential to competing over the production of ethanol fuel If we cannot increase the cultivation area and increase the yield of both sugarcane and cassava according to the Strategic Plan There will be enough raw materials to produce and use only about 4.5 million liters of ethanol per day in the country. from both molasses and cassava up to 18-22 baht per liter, which is an important limitation to promote and increase the consumption of ethanol fuel in the country further. 

At present, cellulosic ethanol production technology development companies have developed both increasing efficiency and reducing the cost of various chemicals. In order to reduce production costs, the main guidelines are as follows:

1. Increase the efficiency of fermentation. Reduce raw material consumption per liter of ethanol, which is the heart of ethanol production. which has improved the digestion and release of sugar from more fiber Including the development of yeast strains that can use both C6 and C5 sugars will result in higher ethanol yields, for example, from the original dried bagasse (100% DM) yielding more than a hundred liters of ethanol. It has been developed to be more than 260 liters per ton, or if using rice straw, it will be more than 210 liters per ton of ethanol.

2. Reduce processing costs Has been developed to minimize the use of various chemicals. Especially important technology is the production of enzymes used by ourselves. It can reduce the cost of purchasing expensive external enzymes.

3. Reduce project investment which has developed some technologies that use various equipment and machines in other existing industries which is available and inexpensive as well as investment only in the preparation of raw materials from fiber to sugar for use in the existing ethanol plant. The remaining rice straw in the area and not being used It is a raw material with high potential. According to the assessment of the Alternative Energy Development Plan 2018 – 2037 (AEDP2018), there are up to 27 million tons if Cellulosic ethanol is produced from rice straw at the price of 1,200 baht per ton, humidity 12%. The feedstock cost is only 6-7 baht per liter, while the remaining amount of rice straw is equivalent to the amount of ethanol up to 14 million liters per day. Rice straw can be valued up to 4,630 baht per tonne, which can reduce energy imports from abroad by as much as 125,000 baht per year. It others can also be used to produce Cellulosic ethanol, such as cassava residue, Cassava rhizomes, leaves and shoots of sugar cane, empty fruit bunch (EFB) If we can develop the harvesting process and collect these agricultural materials as raw materials for project development. It will be another option that will help both add value to agricultural waste. Generate additional income for farmers and promote the production of ethanol fuel in the country as the next target.