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Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, was honored for its innovative sunliquid technology for the production of cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residues as part of the 2015 German Innovation Prize for Climate and Environment (IKU). The biotechnological process was awarded first place in the Process Innovations category and thus prevailed against 14 competitors.
The sunliquid technology convinced the jury of independent experts in the area of business, science, media and politics, chaired by Professor Klaus Töpfer. Biofuels and bio-based chemicals made from agricultural residues such as wheat straw are produced sustainably and economically using this process without competing with food or feed production.
»Clariant is continually investing in the development of sustainable products from renewable raw materials and in the exploration of innovative biotechnologies such as sunliquid. This pioneering process has great potential for the production of environmentally compatible biofuels and a multitude of bio-based raw materials that are suitable for various specialty products, such as those of the cosmetic industry, « says Clariant CEO Hariolf Kottmann.
»Biofuels from agricultural residues play a key role in making mobility more sustainable worldwide. Greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by up to 95 percent compared with fossil fuels. The award from the Federal Ministry validates our approach and of course we are very pleased, « adds Andre Koltermann, Head of Group Biotechnology at Clariant.
With the IKU the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI) awarded innovative projects focused on climate and environmentally friendly processes, products and services for the fifth time. The jurors based their selection on the profound technical analysis of all applications by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI). The award ceremony with Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks and Holger Lösch, member of the BDI Executive Board, took place at the BMUB in Berlin. The award comes with a cash prize of 25,000 euros.