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The Graz start-up Econutri GmbH approached VOGELBUSCH Biocommodities with a complex project idea. Carbon dioxide is to be fermented into high-quality protein with the help of hydrogen and oxygen.
VOGELBUSCH Biocommodities scope of work is to plan and deliver a suitable modular bioreactor for these individual framework conditions based on the idea of Econutri.

For project implementation a fermentation module was developed on the basis of a high-performance gassing system that could be approved for operation with explosive mixtures. The detailed planning and supply of the gas bioreactor was successfully completed in June 2022. Since then, the new pilot plant has been in use to the full satisfaction of the customer and is making its contribution to the development of sustainable processes in industry.

A carefully adapted process design, both in up- and downstream area of a process plant is the key of efficient and energy-saving production of bioethanol.

Depending on customer requirements and availability of raw materials, different options of fermentation strategies come into effect.

Download article „Fermentation strategies in biofuel production“ written by Sven Gross-Selbeck and learn more about the processing of raw materials and fermentation options from Vogelbusch and their application and benefits.

Based on a previously conducted study regarding potential options for capacity expansion, VOGELBUSCH Biocommodities was commissioned by its Slovak client to implement process optimization and capacity expansion of the existing distillation unit.

For this purpose, in September 2021 reconstruction work took place at the alcohol plant built by Vogelbusch twenty years ago. The existing columns were equipped with new trays and the energy integration was changed, so that the specific steam consumption could be significantly reduced. By debottlenecking the heating and the condensation system, the converted plant also achieves a considerable increase in capacity.

Taking over the plant by signing an Acceptance Test Certificate confirms compliance with all guaranteed quality, consumption and capacity parameters as well as the successful commissioning. A carried out customer survey proves the client’s satisfaction with the services provided by VOGELBUSCH Biocommodities.

The bioethanol plant operated by Promaíz in Alejandro Roca has been expanded by launching a new process line.

An » Annex Distillery has been integrated into the Vogelbusch designed facility to additionally produce neutral alcohol with highest purity and quality standards.

The new process group has an operating capacity of 100,000 liters per day and consists of a distillation and rectification unit. It processes alcoholic mash from the existing MultiCont© fermentation. Start-up supervision of expansion commenced in January and production reached 100 % capacity in March 2019 to the full satisfaction of the client.

Commissioning of the new bioethanol distillation, rectification and dehydration unit has recently started with factory acceptance tests (FAT) for the process control system software. The downstream unit replaces an outdated system at COFCO Bioenergy's bioethanol plant in Zhaodong, Heilongjiang, the north eastern province of China. 

Vogelbusch convinced COFCO Bioenergy with its advanced integrated system which enables remarkable energy savings by heat recovery. The DRD unit is realized in cooperation with Jilin Design Institute and COAG; the start-up of the plant is scheduled for autumn 2018.

Further Info

Central to the design of this dehydration unit was fulfilling the client's special demands owing to the particularities of a biorefinery

  • Allowing a range of operation from 30 to 100% with constant specific steam consumption
  • Performing capacity changes with only one key stroke of the operator
  • Minimum footprint using space-saving skid construction design


»  Download article written by Hannes Ewers, technologist at VOGELBUSCH Biocommodities GmbH, for Biofuels International Magazine

Uttam Sucrotech International Pvt. Ltd. has contracted Vogelbusch  with the design of 75,000 literS per day ethanol plant. The facility is an expansion project of an existing distillery and is located in Barkatpur in the Bijnor District of Uttar Pradesh (India) to produce fuel and potable alcohol from cane molasses.

The facility utilizes ethanol technology licensed by Vogelbusch and is designed for inline product switch, a refined distillation system for flexible production of either fuel ethanol or extra neutral alcohol within one process line.

» Media Release: Uttam invests in Switch Distillery Designed by Vogelbusch

Further Info

A global biotechnology company who is a leader in the supply of animal feed supplements, contracted Vogelbusch USA to assist them with building a facility to treat an ethanol/water stream remaining from brewery yeast recovery. The package supplied by Vogelbusch USA was designed as a two-stage process that consists of a two-column distillation, which produces an ethanol/water vapor that is then dried in a molecular sieve unit.

»  Download article written by Dan Mahon, vice president at VOGELBUSCH USA Inc., for Biofuels International Magazine

Following the retirement of Kenneth So, long-time director of VOGELBUSCH Hong Kong Ltd., by the end of last year, Hoong Chee Kean has been appointed as head of business development of VOGELBUSCH Hong Kong Ltd.

Starting from April 2017 he is responsible for sales of Vogelbusch technology and services in China and South East Asia. Chee Kean holds degrees from University Sains Malaysia and Nanyang Technological University. His previous work experience covers industrial products and bioenergy plants.

The machinery in the production building of the grain processing plant is largely installed. The piping assembly is ongoing while electric and automation installation has started.

The start-up of the single units is scheduled from mid of 2017 on.

Argentinian bioethanol producer Promaìz on a regular basis calls Vogelbusch for consulting and engineering assistance to optimize operation in their plant in Alejandro Roca.

After delivery of the equipment mid of 2015, Vogelbusch installation supervision for the glucose plant started in autumn. Meanwhile the plant is completed and after water testing ready for starting up. It will be put into operation once the client has finished the installation of his final product line.

Following conceptual design studies for the reduction of the energy demand - and therefore CO2 emissions - Czech bioethanol producer Ethanol Energy assigned Vogelbusch with the basic design of the process optimization.

From 2017 on a 50 % reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels is a requirement of the European Renewable Energy Directive for sustainable bioethanol production.

For project development of a wheat processing plant, Vogelbusch investigates the optimum plant configuration for several plant locations for an Ukrainian investor. Raw material properties, product and by-product range, flexible production capacities and investment cost are central to the study.

After successful commissioning in spring, repeat customer Almagest is pleased with the performance of their Vogelbusch designed corn oil separation unit, providing a by-product of alcohol production by decantation.

A further contract for process optimization referred to the conditioning of technical alcohol.

Promaíz plans to enhance its processing facility in Alejandro Roca to produce neutral alcohol in addition to bioethanol. Vogelbusch has been assigned with the basic design for the plant.

In September the last truck with equipment for the glucose plant left Austria heading for Volgodonsk. Due to delays in construction works the installation and commissioning are likely to be postponed though.


Starting with the assembly of large volume vessels for Vogelbusch supplied process units, continuous site supervision commenced in Kaluga in June. Engineering is finished and all equipment orders are effected.

Deliveries are under way since early summer and will be carried out under three separate customs clearance tranches.

Further Info

ValorPlus stands for Valorisation of biorefinery by-products leading to closed loop systems with improved economic and environmental performance and is a research project funded within the EU FP7 program. Fourteen European partners from industry, universities and government research institutions explore the utilization of currently unused by-products from the processing of lignocellulose and rapeseed oil to produce and further process useful basic chemicals (sugar and aromatic hydrocarbons).

The project task of VOGELBUSCH Biocommodities GmbH is the utilization of sugars from hemicellulose, a substance from which - in addition to cellulose and lignin - lignocellulose consists, which forms the supporting structure of plants. Lab test series are carried out with inhouse yeast strains to ferment the often incompletely exploited C5 sugars from hemicellulose to gain products such as fodder yeast and ethanol. In addition, Vogelbusch's objective of this research is to deepen the knowledge in the field of preparation and fermentation of raw materials of the socalled 2nd generation.

Further Info

Gunter Brodl has been involved in the ethanol industry for 50 years and came to live in the U.S. when the ethanol industry was in its infancy. He was instrumental in getting some of the first fuel ethanol plants operational 35 years ago and helped introduce the Vogelbusch MultiCont© continuous fermentation process as a state-of-the-art technology for ethanol fermentations. Since then, Gunter has played a major role in developing and improving grain-to-ethanol technologies and has been an innovator for the energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly designs for which Vogelbusch is known.

Gunter established VOGELBUSCH USA Inc. over 25 years ago and under his dedicated leadership grew the company into one of the premier suppliers of process engineering packages for the fuel ethanol industry. Today, Vogelbusch-designed facilities in North America produce over 1.5 billion gallons of ethanol annually.

Gunter will continue as a member of the VOGELBUSCH USA Inc. Board of Directors and will serve as an advisor and consultant to the company.

We are pleased to announce that Anthony Varnas has been named as Gunter’s successor. Tony has been with VOGELBUSCH USA Inc. for over 20 years, most recently as Vice President of Engineering.

Further Info

Constructed within skids that exactly match truck measurements, the pre-assambled dehydration unit for CEPSA left Austria heading for the client's site in Gibraltar.

The Abengoa Bioenergy Biomass of Kansas (ABBK) commercial-scale, cellulosic ethanol facility is in the final stages of commissioning and is scheduled to be fully operational later this fall. The state-of-the-art plant will utilize Spain-based Abengoa Bioenergy’s own proprietary, enzymatic hydrolysis technology to produce 25 million gallons of ethanol and 21 megawatts of electricity from 300,000 tons of biomass per year.

VOGELBUSCH USA Inc. provided process design for the distillation and molecular sieve dehydration areas and also supplied critical equipment for the molecular sieve unit. In advance of the startup, VOGELBUSCH USA Inc. personnel are currently participating in commissioning activities for both areas and will be on-site to assist with the start-up.

Russian Varshavsky group and German industrial group Evonik are setting up a production facility for L-lysine through their joint venture OOO «DonBioTech». Situated in Volgodonsk in the Southern Russian Rostov Region the plant will process locally grown wheat.

The joint venture will use Evonik fermentation technology for L-lysine. An upstream process is the production of glucose solution from wheat which will be used as fermentation substrate.

Based on the basic engineering provided by VOGELBUSCH, the so-called phase P of the official approval procedure was completed last year. VOGELBUSCH has been awarded with the detailed design and the supply of the process plant for the conversion of starch milk to glucose solution and is also responsible for the system integration of the complete grain processing plant, which consists of several production units.

Amino acids such as L-lysine are essential in animal nutrition. The product is intended for the rising demand in the Russian market.

Further Info

Spanish oil company CEPSA (Compañía Española de Petróleos, S.A.U.) has ordered the design and supply of a molecular sieve dehydration unit from VOGELBUSCH to be integrated in their San Roque refinery in Gibraltar.

The facility is used for the purification of ethanol which is subsequently processed to ETBE. The 12,000 lpd plant will be supplied in compact and easy-to-install prefabricated skid racks.

Further Info

The Russian company JSC Biotech Rosva starts with the erection of a biotechnological complex for the processing of 250,000 tons of wheat per year. Products will include starch, gluten and – based on starch milk - various starch sugars, which are intended as ingredients for the food industry. A by-product will be used as animal feed.

The production site is located in an industrial park in Kaluga, southwest of Moscow. Based on the basic engineering of Vogelbusch the building permit was issued and construction started already.

Vogelbusch is responsible for the planning and delivery of the process plants for glucose monohydrate, fructose syrup (HFS) and sorbitol and is also in charge with the system integration of those stages of production, which are contributed by other suppliers. These include the dry milling, starch plant and drying of the by-products.

Further Info

In Alexandro Roca, in the Córdoba province of Argentina, recently the bioethanol plant  of Promaíz S.A. has been successfully put into operation.

The plant can produce 420,000 liter of ethanol from corn per day. Following a swift start-up phase in July 2014 the plant reached full production capacity within shortest time.

Promaíz produces bioethanol and as a by by-product animal feed for the local market. In Argentina fuel ethanol production is controlled by government by a quota system, which allocates specific production quota to each manufacturer.

The process technology provided by Vogelbusch includes the continuous VB Multicont fermentation and the highly energy efficient Multipressure distillation/dehydration. The design is in particular environmental friendly regarding emission standards and the primary energy and fresh water demand.

The project uses INEOS Bio’s feedstock-flexible BioEnergy technology, a unique combination of gasification and fermentation technologies, to turn different types of waste materials, including municipal solid waste, into advanced biofuels and renewable power. At capacity, the facility will manufacture 8 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol under the new Renewable Fuel Standard and provide power for 1400 homes in the area.

“We chose Vogelbusch’s distillation and dehydration systems for their proven capabilities, which are vital as we commercialize our advanced bioenergy technology,” said Mark Niederschulte, COO of INEOS Bio.

The facility began producing renewable power for export to the local community in October and is the first large-scale project in the United States to receive registrations from the EPA for a facility using non-food vegetative waste materials (vegetative and yard waste) to produce cellulosic ethanol. INEOS Bio has plans to run municipal solid waste at the Center after the initial start-up.

Further Info

Russia strives to develop its grain processing and biotechnology industry to make use of its agricultural potential of renewable raw materials for industrial refinement. Investments in this field include facilities that use wheat as a feedstock to produce speciality goods such as starch and starch sugars (HFS, glucose syrup, maltose syrup) as well as special fermentation products and sorbitol. Valuable byproducts gained in these processes are gluten, animal feed and last not least A-starch.

Over the past year VOGELBUSCH Biocommodities GmbH has completed a number of conceptual engineering studies for such deep grain processing plants in Russia. Meanwhile several projects have proceeded to the basic engineering phase and permits are under way or granted. The plants are typically highly customized with a flexible product range for the best possible economic performance. Vogelbusch carries out the engineering for the process plants which are a combination of inhouse technologies and third party packages to be integrated in the facility.

Vogelbusch expertise in the field also includes detailed engineering and supply of complete process lines with proprietary technology, e. g. for the production of starch sugar syrup, for alcohol or yeast made from by-products of such complexes as well as the production of special fermentation products such a citric acid, using the starch isolated in the process or sugars thereof as substrates.

High demand owing to their excellent neutral alcohol quality convinced Bulgarian beverage alcohol producer Almagest to extend the capacity of their facility which was set up with Vogelbusch technology only in 2009.

Some 30 % have been added to the name plate capacity which now amounts to 80,000 liters per day to the perfect satisfaction of the client. Vogelbusch provided the process design, supplied key equipment, modified the PCS and supervised the start-up.

Meanwhile the plant runs in compliance with all quality criteria at 12 % above specified capacity (based on 100 % alcohol).