USEUROPEAFRICAASIA 中文双语Français
China
Home / China / Innovation

China creates world's first coal-to-ethanol production line

By Zhang Zhihao | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-03-17 16:06

China has successfully created the world's first production line to turn coal into ethanol, or drinking alcohol, the Chinese Academy of Sciences said on Friday.

Created by Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum and the academy's Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics in Liaoning province, the production line went into operation in January and has the capacity to make more than 100,000 metric tons of pure ethanol every year, according to Liu Zhongmin, the institute's deputy director.

By 2020, China will build a factory capable of producing 1 million tons of ethanol each year using the same technology, he said.

The country currently produces 7 million tons of ethanol each year using other methods, which can "hardly satisfy" its industrial and energy needs, according to Liu.

"Most countries produce ethanol using food, such as corn or sugar cane, but this is not a viable option for China given its massive population," he said.

"By turning China's abundant coal resources into ethanol, the technology will help safeguard our energy and food security,"

Moreover, ethanol is a green fuel and versatile ingredient. "Utilizing it could reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, and make our industrial production and energy structure more environmental friendly," Liu said.

In addition to alcoholic beverages, ethanol can be used to produce thousands of everyday products from plastics to detergents. It can also replace more toxic ingredients, such as methanol, during industrial production.

Other uses include mixing it with petroleum to increase its fuel efficiency and reduce pollution. An abundant supply of ethanol would also make ethanol-fueled vehicles more viable, Liu said.

Zhangzhihao@chinadaily.com.cn

Editor's picks
BACK TO THE TOP
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349
FOLLOW US