China has successfully created the world’s first production line to turn coal into ethanol, or drinking alcohol, the Chinese Academy of Sciences said on Friday. Created by Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum and the academy’s Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics in Liaoning province, the production line went into operation in January and has the capacity to make more than 100,000 metric tons of pure ethanol every year, according to Liu Zhongmin, the institute’s deputy director…Full Article: Mar 2017

Key Point

  • By 2020, China hopes to have a coal-to-ethanol factory with an annual production capacity of 1 million MTs.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In 2016, China produced on average 2.1 million MTs of ethanol fuel annually and had a biomass energy capacity of 10 gigawatts (GW), which was below the target goal of 13 GB by 2015.
  • In October 2016, a Beijing publication stated that the average corn price paid by ethanol companies in Jilin Province was CNY 1,450 (US$217.44) per MT. At the same time, the purchase price paid by ethanol companies in Kaiyuan, Liaoning Province, was CNY 1,570 (~US$233) per MT.
  • In April 2016, a Chinese-financed in sugar mill began operation in Preah Vihear Province, northern Cambodia. In addition to the sugar mill, according to Cambodia’s Industry Minister, factories will be built in 2017 that will eventually produce 50,000 MTs of ethanol (for export to China) and 100,000 MTs of organic fertilizers.
  • In July 2015, DuPont and Jilin Province New Tianlong Industry signed an agreement to build China’s largest cellulosic ethanol manufacturing plant, which is a type of biofuel (i.e. not a fossil fuel like coal, petroleum and natural gas) that is produced from wood, grasses, and other plants such as corn.
  • In 2014, China produced 2.27 million MTs of ethanol fuel. Chinese ethanol production is primarily produced from corn, with some output derived from wheat, cassava, sweet sorghum, and plant cellulose.
  • In June 2014, Shanghai Zhongfu Group (via Kimberley Agricultural Investments) bought a sugar mill in Kununurra, Western Australia. It was noted that even though sugar production was the long term goal of the Ord irrigation scheme, the mill may be used to process sorghum into ethanol. During the same month, China began operating its first sweet sorghum ethanol plant in Inner Mongolia.
  • In 2013, China produced 2.08 million MTs of ethanol fuel.

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