Who's Got The Ceetoh Moves? - Part 2

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Last week we bracketed a likely schedule for the presumed commercialization of cellulosic ethanol ("Ceetoh") in North American, reflecting the effect of recently created US energy bill incentives: Who's Got The Ceetoh Moves? - Part 1 (We're saying no sooner than 2020 for broad commercialization of cellulosic ethanol in North America.)

This week we briefly describe or link to earlier posts for a select list of companies or research groups with technology offerings for Ceetoh processing. We specifically exclude from this list investment groups that have not invented Ceetoh technologies, do not perform Ceetoh related research, and/or do not directly manage Ceetoh processing operations.

Order does not denote rank importance or indicate preference on the part of TreeHugger. Nation of corporate ownership is shown in bold.

Canada:- Woodland Biofuels, Woodland Biofuels Inc., previously Woodland Chemical Systems Inc., is a federally-incorporated Canadian company that builds and sell plants to convert renewable waste materials into fuels and chemicals. Their processes can utilize varying feedstock using the same equipment, unlike enzymatic fermentation processes, wherein even minor changes necessitate different enzymes. Woodland 's process can be fired by biomass and generate its own electricity.Spain:- Abengoa Bioenergy Corp, Abengoa Bioenergy is the first European, fifth in the U.S.A, and the only worldwide bioethanol manufacturer, with more than 1000 ML/year of total installed capacity. In Spain Abengoa maintains three production facilities with a capacity over 500 ML/year and is constructing the first world biomass enzymatic hydrolysis demonstration plant with a capacity over 5 ML/year. Construction of a biorefinery pilot plant is near completion at a research facility in York, NE, USA.

USA:- Blue Fire Ethanol, BlueFire uses a Concentrated Acid Hydrolysis Process to produce ethanol from urban trash, rice and wheat straw, wood waste and other agricultural residues. The Company has constructed and operated a pilot plant near its Southern California offices. The core technology and other related processes are protected under patents issued and pending by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. See also this earlier post on Blue Fire: "BlueFire: "Waste" Cellulose To Ethanol"

USA:- Range Fuels, Range Fuels is a privately held company funded by Khosla Ventures. Using the Range Fuels process, biomass is fed into a converter. Using heat, pressure, and steam, the cellulosic feedstock is converted into synthesis gas (syngas), which is cleaned and passed over our proprietary catalyst and transformed into mixed alcohols. These alcohols are then separated and processed to maximize the yield of ethanol.

USA: Poet, long term maker of corn-based ethanol has underway a cellulosic ethanol on a commercial scale in Emmetsburg, Iowa. With the assistance of a US Department of Energy Grant of up to $80 million, Poet's plan is to convert an existing 50 million gallon per year (mgpy) dry-mill ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa into an integrated corn-to-ethanol and cellulose-to-ethanol biorefinery that will be commercial in 2011. According to the Poet website:

Our BPX™ process is also a breakthrough in its own right. This patent-pending raw starch hydrolysis process converts starch to sugar, which then ferments to ethanol without heat.

The BPX™ process not only reduces energy costs, but also releases additional starch content for conversion to ethanol, increases protein content and quality of co-products, increases co-product flowability, potentially increases plant throughput and significantly decreases plant emissions.


USA: SunOpta, See previous TreeHugger post:- "SunOpta To Build Cellulosic Ethanol Plant Based On Wood Chip Feedstock"

USA: Verenium, See previous TreeHugger post:- "Verenium: Discovering the Nature of Energy"

Canada: GreenField Ethanol is Canada's leading fuel and packaged alcohol producer, with several corn based ethanol-manufacturing facilities. GreenField is a 50/50 JV partner with SunOpta (see SunOpa link above for details) in development of a cellulosic ethanol production plant that is "slated to produce 40 million litres of cellulosic ethanol per year, making it the first operating commercial cellulose ethanol plant in the world using wood chips."

USA: Mascoma is working to produce enzymes that break down cellulosic material into usable sugars and sugars into ethanol, by developing organisms that will:
* Rapidly break down the components of biomass
* Convert a range of sugars and polymers of sugars to ethanol
* Thrive in a manufacturing environment
* Produce ethanol with minimal by-products
Mascoma is presently building a production facility in Michigan and has partnered with Tamarak Energy to build facilities in New York and New England.

Finally, we suggest you see also: New Deal II: The Next Dam Thing? for an exploration of the potential for a much broader set of government incentives for Ceetoh production, encompassing forestland conservation and employment.

Via::GreentechMedia and websites of the listed firms. Image credit::Shared Websites, Backpacking on the Chuck Keiper Trail

Tags: Canada | Spain | Technology

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