Dr. Kuhn and Mr. Cornehl from ENERCAP on BIO Fuel Innovations

Dr. Kuhn and Mr. Cornehl, Directors at ENERCAP answer to some frequently asked questions about the Unique Selling Points (USP‘s) of the ENERCAP project.

Question: What makes ENERCAP unique?
Dr.Kuhn: The Business Model of ENERCAP combines two different branches industries in an ideal complementary manner:
Production of Bioethanol as Biofuel & Thermal Use of Fractionated Waste (RDF – Refuse Derived Fuels)
The entire production operates energetically completely independent. The RDF Power Plant delivers 100% of the required amount of heat and electricity. The surplus Electricity Production will be delivered and sold into the public power grid. There is a huge shortage of electricity in the Philippines outside the metropoles.

Question: Many investors seems to have been disappointed by Waste to Energy investments ending up with poor efficiency.
Mr. Cornehl: The combined heat and power (CHP) increases the efficiency of power plants significantly by the use of the whole heat energy. ENERCAP’s efficiency will be about 75 – 80% (for comparison: Modern power plants in GER reach c. 40%!), and makes it to one of the most effective and most sustainable power plants worldwide.

Question: How would that work?
Dr.Kuhn: The technology used in the RDF Power Plant allows the variable use of the heat energy to generate electricity. When there is reduced demand for heat in the bioethanol production process, it increases the electricity production (e.g. during maintenance work in the Bioethanol-Plant).

Question:What else did you consider?
Dr.Kuhn: 3 equal lines of the RDF Power Plant are adapted to the energy requirement of the 3-line Bioethanol Plant. This results in a high level of redundancy, flexibility and availability of the systems. This is a great risk mitigation factor as opposed to traditional single line manufacturing concepts.

Question: Does that mean that you are a co-generation plant?
Mr. Cornehl: Absolutely not. We are a kind of “super” co-generation plant.Unlike to “normal” co-generation plants for the production of bioethanol ENERCAP does not use the residues of energy crops for the generation of heat and electricity (→ e.g. biogas, combustion of Sugarcane-Bagasse). The use of RDF as an energy source in the power plant allows the drying of the fermentation residues to a valuable, high-protein feedstuff for farm animals (about 240,000 t / a DDCS).
Therefore ENERCAP will receive a credit for 240,000 t / a DDCS (Dried Distiller’s Cassava with Solubles) in form of soybean-equivalents when assessing the CO2-balance of bioethanol due to the supplementation of other protein feedstuffs in farm animal nutrition.

Question: How environmental friendly is ENERCAP
Dr.Kuhn: The use of alternative fuels (RDF) in the project of ENERCAP is extremely environment friendly:
– The thermal use of RDF reduces the huge amounts of waste in landfills (Manila → 8,000 t / day)
– The equipment of the RDF Power Plant achieves 50% reduced emissions than the strongest environmental legislation worldwide (Federal Pollution Control Act in GER)

Question: Are you reducing the overall Carbon Footprint?
Mr. Cornehl: The use of RDF in energy production has an extremely positive impact on the CO2-balance and the sustainability of the therewith produced bioethanol. The CO2-balance is calculative comparable to Biomass Power Plants.
Example: The CO2-Footprint of plastic packaging are dedicated to the User or Manufacturer of plastic packaging, and not to the Thermal Utilization in a Power Plant.

Question: Why do you use the Cassava?
Dr.Kuhn: The use of Cassava (also Manioc or Tapioca) is extremely economical due to its high starch content, environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Cassava can be cultivated very easily and without much effort. Also we do not want to be recognized as a “Food for Fuel”player. We explicitly did not want to use Corn based, neither sugar cane based raw materials.

Question: What is the social impact created by ENERCAP’s investment?
Mr. Cornehl: ENERCAP’s demand creates a new market for energy crops in the Philippines. Additionally, thousands new (skilled and unskilled) jobs in agriculture, waste manage-ment and transport industry will be backed up and created new. Thus, the migration from the land to the cities in the Philippines can be counteracted.

Question: Is there not a risk that your plant depends completely on one resource produced by the farmers?
Dr.Kuhn: ENERCAP’s „Multi-Feed Concept” allows the use of different energy crops in parallel for the production of bioethanol. ENERCAP can use besides Cassava other starch- or sugar-rich energy crops as raw material (e.g. Maize, Batatas, Sweet Sorghum, etc.) Additionally, ENERCAP will work very closely with the Department of Agriculture (DA) of the Philippines.

Question: Who are you competing with?
Mr. Cornehl: In the Philippines, bioethanol is produced almost only from Sugar Cane. These systems can not use any other energy crops, because they have no conditioning-unit for the use of enzymes. However, yeasts can ferment only Monosaccharides to ethanol. They are not able to saccharify starch.
Originally, the production of bioethanol in the Philippines was only used for the levy and processing of large quantities of Sugar Cane at low sugar prices. Therefore, the existing bioethanol plants are relatively small (typically 40 m³ ethanol / day → ENERCAP 1,050 m³ / day).

Question: Do you have an off-take agreement for the produced Bio-Ethanol?
Dr.Kuhn: ENERCAP’s bioethanol production covers about 90% of the current demand of the Philippines. The domestic bioethanol production is protected by tariffs. The promised PEZA status (Philippine Economic Zone Authority) allows the export of not required bioethanol tax-free e.g. to Japan. Additionally ENERCAP has a tax exemption during the first 6 years.

Question: What is the benefit for the Philippines?
Dr.Kuhn: ENERCAP’s bioethanol production reduces dependence on fossil fuels, especially in countries without oil reserves (→ many countries of SE-Asia). In contrast, this tropical and subtropical countries have excellent conditions for the production of energy crops for biofuel production due to their climate. In addition, e.g. in the Philippines, large parts of agricultural land are not cultivated.
The cultivation of cassava will be placed on additional, previously agricultural fallow land which is currently unused. It will not displace the traditional agriculture. The required areas for the cultivation of cassava for ENERCAP will be structured in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture of the Philippines, certified and scientifically accompanied.

Question: In a conclusion, what would be your summary?
Mr. Cornehl: All listed characteristics cause ENERCAP’s Bioethanol Production in cogeneration with the RDF Power Plant is the world’s most efficient, environment friendly and sustainable Biofuel-Concept. It has a modular design and can also be enlarged or reduced linewise. In addition, it can also be adapted to the special conditions in other countries.