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    Sojitz Corp. and Hitachi Zosen Corp. have launched a model project for production of bioethanol from potato starch residue in the Keshan State Farm in Harbin City, in China's Heilongjiang Province. The project is being conducted jointly with Harbin-based Beidahuang Potato Industry Group, a potato processing firm under the management of the General Bureau of State Firms of Heilongjiang Province.

    Proposed by Sojitz and Hitachi Zosen, the project was selected by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) as an international energy consumption efficiency raising technology promotion and cooperation project in December 2011. Under the project, Sojitz and Hitachi Zosen will construct a bioethanol producing demonstration plant and verify the technology under NEDO's entrustment contract.

    The project will utilize the saccharification and fermentation technology of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), one of the largest public research organizations in Japan, and Hitachi Zosen's comprehensive plant engineering capabilities and ethanol dehydration system by membrane separation, to produce bioethanol for fuel use. Sojitz Research Institute's comprehensive knowhow on biomass will also be used for the Project.

    The project period is scheduled to continue until March 2014. The demonstration plant will produce ethanol for fuel use and dried distillers grain (DDG), and will verify the profitability for commercialization. The produced ethanol will be mixed with gasoline to make E10 (gasoline mixed with 10% bioethanol) and used as motor vehicle fuel.