Jilin Fuel Ethanol: Non-food R & D Hope "Transfusion"

According to the current editorial plan, China's petroleum and chemical companies are in a critical period of transition and development under the background of the national “12th Five-Year” adjustment structure and transfer method. Many companies are striving to implement the scientific concept of development, adjust their industries and product mix, upgrade their technological level, enhance their competitiveness, and move toward a better and faster direction. However, many companies report that there are still some factors that are currently constraining the growth of companies, such as the lack of optimism in the financial environment, imperfections in policies, regulations, standards, etc., the sharp rise in raw material prices and labor costs, etc. Strongly concerned and eager to solve the problem. To this end, starting today, this edition will open up a series of reports on the "current surveys of companies most concerned about issues." It will focus on issues of concern to the enterprise, express the voice of the company, reflect the company's appeal, and create an atmosphere for the scientific development of the petroleum and chemical industries.

On August 2nd, the reporter learned from Jilin Fuel Ethanol Company that after mobilizing funds from various sources, the 30,000-ton/year cellulose fuel ethanol project that has been shelved has finally started. By the end of the year, it is expected to break ground. This is an important step taken by Jilin Fuel Ethanol Company on the non-food ethanol exploration road.

This step is not easy. As a beneficial supplement to alternative energy sources and energy security, fuel ethanol has received strong national support since this century because of its green, environmentally friendly and renewable characteristics. However, due to technology, process and other reasons, the high cost has always been a bottleneck restricting the development of the industry, relying on the government to subsidize "eat." In particular, four of China's five fuel ethanol demonstration companies use corn and other food crops as raw materials. For this reason, the voices of "striving for food with people, disputes for food with the grain," and "threatening food security" have been constantly questioned. Some people even wrote letters to the National Development and Reform Commission, hoping to stop fuel ethanol, and the fuel ethanol industry is under tremendous pressure. Under this background, the research and development of non-food feedstock ethanol will become the future of the fuel ethanol industry. Various fuel ethanol companies have focused their attention on non-food R&D targets in the development direction. However, during the R&D process, they encountered the problem of insufficient funds, which almost made R&D difficult.

Liu Yan, Minister of Production Technology of Jilin Fuel Ethanol Co., Ltd. told reporters that non-food ethanol is theoretically feasible and has been confirmed in practice. The company is one of the earliest companies involved in non-food research and development in China and has achieved initial results. They used sorghum stalks to produce fully qualified fuel ethanol, but the cost of producing one ton of product was as high as more than 20,000 yuan. In addition, there are many waste waters and waste slags that are difficult to industrialize and further optimization is needed. However, they are determined to make breakthroughs in this area. The 30,000-ton/year cellulose-based ethanol is another bold attempt for them. It is hoped that they will make unremitting efforts to usher in the spring of non-food R&D.

Liu Ye said: "Non-food R & D is a global problem, the world is working in this direction. We may need more than ten years or even decades to succeed. At present, it is difficult for an enterprise alone to bear such a burden. The important task is to obtain strong support from the local government, especially in terms of funding, which requires the government's full assistance. If the government comes to the forefront and integrates regional industry advantages and supports policies and other aspects, it will greatly promote non-food ethanol. The development process."

Liu Ye said that the fuel ethanol industry has been subsidized by the state for survival. However, such preferential policies as subsidies and fiscal and taxation are gradually tightening. Taking this year as an example, the subsidy has been reduced by more than 50% from last year, and the company’s interest has been reduced. At the same time raw material corn prices have risen to the current 2,300 yuan per ton, which is at a historically high level, further exacerbating corporate profits. Under double pressure, companies invest more money in R&D, which is a bit of a stretch.

The previous sorghum straw ethanol production project, the company invested several million yuan, has achieved a small test success. Later, because of funding issues, R&D projects have been shelved. It can be said that the tight funding for scientific research is one of the major bottlenecks restricting the pace of non-food research and development. The 30,000-ton/year cellulose fuel ethanol project built in the pilot project today represents another step in non-food R&D by Jilin Fuel Ethanol Co., Ltd. However, Liu Hao is still worried about the future industrialization.

Liu Ye told reporters that companies hope that the government will provide scientific and technological innovation funds and special funds to provide guarantees for scientific research projects. At the same time, it also hopes that the government can help bridge the gap and attract companies interested in non-food R&D to inject funds and engage in cooperation so as to ensure that scientific research projects in this area can be carried out with sufficient "green air".

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