The National Innovation Agency (NIA) joined hands with Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) to support the first pilot plant for ethanol production from cassava pulp in Thailand.
The two parties yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding for a 276-million-baht grant that supports the development of renewable energy innovation and technology.
NIA will facilitate the implementation of the plant to be constructed with Thai co-investment. NEDO will provide 690 million yen (276 million baht) fund for the project from 2013-2016 for all machinery and equipment at the plant, which will have a production capacity of 800 litres per batch.
A feasibility study was conducted, showing Thailand is both suitable geographically and in terms of raw materials to produce ethanol. The country hosts 78 cassava starch factories, which generate over five tonnes of cassava pulp annually.
Ethanol produced from cassava pulp is cheaper than that from cassava roots and chips, resulting in reduced energy costs.
Sadao Wasak, NEDO's executive director, added the project will yield an improved environment and energy security in Thailand.
This project will focus on hydrolysis of starch and cellulose for industrial production of ethanol, which will encourage the production and use of renewable energy, a Thai government priority.