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lunes, 7 de agosto de 2017

Aemetis signs an agreement on gasification process as part of a strategy to produce cellulosic ethanol



It seems that Aemetis could fill the gap left by Ineos Bio when it decided to close its New Planet BioEnergy plant in 2016. This facility had been constructed for demonstrating at full commercial scale the conversion of lignocellulosic feedstocks to bioethanol and renewable electricity utilizing a process coupling gasification and fermentation technologies. By the way, as recently reported by the blog, Alliance Bio-Products will revamp the closed ethanol plant to demonstrate its CTS technology (see post).

Returning to the issue, Aemetis intends to integrate Lanzatech’s patented microbial fermentation technology with a gasification process to produce ethanol. And, it has just taken a step forward in achieving this goal. The California-based company has signed an agreement with exclusive rights for the use of the advanced gasification technology of InEnTec (see press release). This is a key part of Aemetis’ strategy to produce cellulosic ethanol from locally sourced biomass. Under the agreement, Aemetis has predominant exclusive rights to use the InEnTec gasification equipment and technology for cellulosic ethanol production until 2024.

Figure 1. Scheme of InEnTec’s PEM system (extracted from InEnTec web page)

InEnTec’s Plasma Enhanced Melter® (PEM) system has its origins in many decades of work in the development and integration of two different technologies: plasma and glass melter. It builds upon extensive U.S. Department of Energy sponsored research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The combined research funds expended on these technologies was well over $300 million. The PEM process breaks materials apart into their elemental components and then transforms those elements into syngas. Any waste not converted into syngas gets turned into Synglass, a vitrified substance with many industrial uses.

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