EthaNa – an innovative and novel approach to the processing of rapeseed

Until 2021, partners from research and industry will be working on a novel and innovative process for rapeseed processing. EthaNa thus represents the starting point for Germany as a location for a rapeseed-based biorefinery.

The FNR and BMEL project pursues various economic and technical goals. Above all, it aims to increase the added value of rapeseed and rapeseed products.

Conventional processing of oilseeds EthaNa processes
Proven economic efficiency for decades Economic efficiency has only been proven in pilot and references plants
Value creation potential is largely exhausted Considerable potential for additional added value is possible
Vegetable crude oil is the most important value-determining product; production is only worthwhile from a certain yield for crude oil Diversification of product range through crude oil, rapeseed meal and valuable ingredients determine yield
Value added from rapeseed extraction meal is undervalued (especially in relation to soya) Rapeseed meal should be equivalent to crude oil in added value and enable advantage over soybean
Considerable dependence in profitability on developments on world markets Product diversification to reduce dependence on developments on world markets

During the implementation of the project, the integration of the plant into the existing infrastructure of established oil mills poses a particular challenge. Well-known engineering partners are in charge of the implementation of this milestone. If it succeeds, the process promises a gentle processing method, reduced media consumption and the elimination of potentially questionable solvents.

Conventional processing of oilseeds EthaNa process
Continuously Continuously
Robust and established process Relatively complex and not yet established procedure
High temperature and pressure effects on the biological starting material Gentle process with low temperatures and normal pressure to avoid denaturation of the biological starting material
Not suitable for the extraction of valuable ingredients Valuable ingredients can be isolated
Unsuitable for the complete extraction of antinutritive ingredients Antinutritive substances are extracted

Known as an edible oil and animal feed, these products are to be produced to an even higher quality in the future. However, we are also working on a general improvement in yield as well as on new, unknown valuable recyclable substances. Innovative products such as rapeseed oil and rapeseed protein are expected to increase sales revenues in the future and create potential for worldwide marketing. New sales markets for processes and plants are EthaNa’s long-term goal.