Canadian Biomass Magazine

Rayonier invests in French bioethanol plant

January 20, 2022
By Rayonier Advanced Materials

Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc., a global leader in the production of high purity cellulose pulp, recently announced the introduction of a second-generation (2G) bioethanol product for Europe’s fast-growing biofuels market. Produced using wood-based feedstock (not in competition with food), RYAM will be among the first in France to produce 2G bioethanol fuel from wood. With a 90 per cent smaller carbon footprint compared to fossil fuel-based gasoline, RYAM’s bioethanol product will help petrochemical companies meet their need for clean and renewable energy in the European market and contribute to reduced climate change.

“With the successful development of second-generation bioethanol products, RYAM is taking an important step toward achieving our BioFuture and promoting a more sustainable world,” said Vito Consiglio, president and CEO of Rayonier Advanced Materials. “The strong demand for this innovative, renewable biofuel represents another example of how we can leverage our existing biorefineries and knowledge of cellulose chemistry to provide biobased solutions.”

Rayonier Advanced Materials’ biorefinery model captures residual sugars from its existing pulp process and converts the sugars into 2G bioethanol. This circular process, which utilizes a greater portion of the tree to create higher-value products, represents a more sustainable operating model.

“Second-generation bioethanol is about more than just introducing a new product pipeline. 2G represents RYAM’s largest investment to date towards its more sustainable BioFuture,” said Christian Ribeyrolle, head of biomaterials at Rayonier Advanced Materials. “In collaboration with our customer, our 2G bioethanol will provide a green biofuel alternative for Europe’s gasoline market and help fight against climate change by eliminating approximately 25,000 tons of CO2 emissions a year.”


Designed to produce up to 21 million litres of bioethanol, construction on RYAM’s 2G production facility is scheduled to begin in the Spring of 2022 with commercial sales targeted for the Summer of 2023. RYAM has entered into a long-term off-take (sales) agreement with a large international petrochemicals company to purchase the 2G bioethanol and expects to finance a significant portion of its investment with low-cost green loans.

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