Gent/Brussels - The Alco Group biorefinery Alco Bio Fuel (ABF), industrial gas supplier Messer Benelux and IJsfabriek Strombeek will continue their efforts to reduce CO2 emissions in Belgium. Together they are investing 10 million euros in a second carbon dioxide recovery unit, located at Alco Bio Fuel in North Sea Port (Ghent). In the spring of 2022, this second line will be operational, bringing the annual capture of green CO2 to 160,000 tons. That is an increase of no less than 60% compared to current capacity.
The CO2 will be released when ABF processes biomass into bio-ethanol. This biomass is organic material that extracts CO2 from the air during the growth process. In addition to bio-ethanol and CO2, the biomass also produces proteins for animal feed and corn oil. After capture and treatment, the CO2 can be reused in the food and beverage industry, greenhouse horticulture, water purification, refrigerated transport or as a chemical raw material. The solid form of CO2 is dry ice, a well-known cooling and cleaning agent.
160,000 tons less CO2-emissions yearly
Including the investment made 5 years ago, a total of EUR 25 million will eventually have been invested to capture, process and use 160 thousand tons of CO2 to replace CO2 of fossil origin. This installation captures and purifies the CO2 gas and converts it into liquid. The result: a reduction in CO2 emissions of 160,000 tons per year. This is equivalent to taking 117,000 cars off the road in Belgium. Not only does ABF reduce the CO2 footprint of bioethanol in this way, the company can also increase its product range.
Working towards a climate-neutral world
For Alco Bio Fuel, this investment is another important step towards climate-neutral production. "We are taking up the European challenge of being climate neutral by 2050" said Charles-Albert Peers, CEO of Alco, "However, as a company we already want to achieve this aim by 2030”. For Alco, this project is a fantastic example of effectively taking CO2 out of the air, and according to Peers: "absolutely necessary to achieve climate neutrality”.
CO2, better known as carbon dioxide or (in liquids) carbonic acid, creates the refreshing bubbles in soft drinks, is used in the purification of drinking water and is an alternative to the aggressive acids needed to neutralise wastewater.
North Sea Porth welcomes this investment. Daan Schalck, CEO North Sea Port: "North Sea Port puts its shoulders to the wheel in the pursuit of a climate-neutral world. The fact that the new investment by Alco Bio Fuel is not limited to the production process, but also produces consumer products, is quite special".
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