Nov 6, 2008
Cassava bio-ethanol plant to open in China
Business Green - London, England,UK 05 Nov 2008
Facility will produce 33 million gallons a year of bio-ethanol from cassava plants
China-based Hainan Yedao Group has reportedly invested $51.5m (£31.8m) in a new biofuel facility that is expected to produce 33 million gallons a year of bio-ethanol from cassava plants.
The plans follow recent moves from the Beijing government to ban the use of grain-based energy crops in bio-ethanol, amid concerns demand had led to a decline in food supplies.
Cassava avoids the ban as it is a root vegetable that represents China's fifth-largest crop yield after rice, sweet potato, sugar cane and maize.
The Guangxi region, next to where the plant is located, accounts for 70 per cent of the country's yield, averaging seven million tonnes a year.
Traditionally ethanol produced from cassava is used for food and pharmaceutical purposes, but it is increasingly being touted as a more sustainable alternative to first-generation biofuels.
China's Beihai Gofar Marine Biological Industry has also announced plans for a 100,000 tonne-per-year cassava-based ethanol plant in the Guangxi region.
The government has also signalled its support for the biofuel sector, with 10 of the country's 22 provinces in China mandating the use of ethanol-blended gasoline in cars.