The supply of ethanol fluctuates – why is that?

The supply of bioethanol raw material is not constant. Most of the ethanol produced today originates from cultivated commodities such as sugarcane, wheat and maize. This means that bioethanol is produced under general agricultural conditions.

Raw material

Climate, weather conditions, droughts and floods can affect harvests and thus the supply of ethanol. Modern agriculture is relatively stable, but yield fluctuations still occur and the effects of global warming are already a hot topic for global agriculture.

The ethanol market is controlled by supply and demand

The ethanol market is international, with pricing controlled by ethanol supply in relation to demand. Accordingly, prices may rise as demand on the world market increases. Energy is also quite often an important national issue, so the amount of ethanol exported by a producer country may be affected by political decisions and considerations.

In order to be best able to offer our customers a steady supply and a steady price, SEKAB tries whenever possible to reach fixed long-term agreements with suppliers. This provides greater security to us, our customers and the producers.

Renewable raw materials and sustainable production

We work with bio-ethanol, a product that – being renewable – has a great climatic advantage compared with fossil products. Renewable products from sustainable agriculture are a prerequisite for biofuel’s environmental performance and this is what makes them a part of the future.

How SEKAB broadens its raw material base

It is also important to be able to manufacture chemicals and biofuels from raw materials other than those that can be used as food or feeding stuffs (such as wheat and maize). This makes the cellulose-based biorrefinery technology that is developed at SEKAB very valuable, since it makes it possible to produce ethanol and other important residue products from forestry and agriculture, such as straw, wood chips and bagasse.

This allows us to utilise the Earth’s resources as efficiently as possible. SEKAB’s technique for the fractionation of cellulose is progressing towards commercialisation.