Biofuel, Company initiatives, Investments

INEOS Bio ships cellulosic ethanol

INEOS Bio’s recent announcement of its cellulosic ethanol production at its Indian River BioEnergy Center in Vero Beach, Florida, has created a big buzz in the biofuels sector.

INEOS Bio said their first ethanol shipments will be released this month. Their facility uses gasification and fermentation technology to convert biomass such as vegetative and yard waste, citrus, oak, pine and pallet wood waste into bioethanol with production capacity of 24 ktpy (8m gpy) and renewable energy (6MW gross). The Centre is also permitted to use municipal solid waste, which the company will use during 2014.

The company said it expects to spend the remainder of 2013 demonstrating full nameplate capacity. The BioEnergy Centre is a joint venture project between INEOS Bio and New Planet Energy. The Centre will serve as a reference plant for future INEOS Bio facilities and for companies interested in licensing the technology.

According the US Department of Energy, this project originated as a research project from the University of Arkansas, supported by a $5m Energy Department investment over 15 years. The agency’s early support helped this technology obtain a number of patents, with the core intellectual property purchased by INEOS Bio in 2008.

In 2009, the INEOS Bio-New Planet Energy joint venture was awarded a $50m Energy Department grant.

According to the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), this announcement is visible progress in achieving the goals of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Additional cellulosic ethanol projects are scheduled to achieve commercial production over the next few years, BIO said.

“The production of commercial scale cellulosic biofuels is a very significant achievement and a direct result of American biotech innovation. INEOS Bio’s biorefinery is the first to prove a biotech process successful at commercial scale. It has already created hundreds of jobs and brought economic growth – as well as renewable electricity – to its Florida community. This shows the Renewable Fuel Standard is working, plain and simple.” – BIO

Another recent news in the cellulosic ethanol world, ZeaChem recently announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirmed the successful registration of ZeaChem’s demonstration biorefinery in Boardman, Ore., to generate cellulosic biofuel RINs. The EPA Fuels Programs Registered Company/Facility ID List has been updated accordingly with ZeaChem’s biorefinery verified as an approved registered facility for the production of Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) qualifying D3 cellulosic biofuel RINs.

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.

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