Central Valley biofuel maker signs major deal
November 8, 2012
• Aemetis to install Edeniq technology at its plant in Keyes
• To pave the way for commercial cellulosic production
Edeniq Inc., of Visalia, says it has signed an agreement with Aemetis Inc., of Cupertino, to install its technology in Aemetis’ biofuel plant in Keyes in the Central Valley.
Edeniq’s proprietary “Cellunators” are to be installed at the plant to boost ethanol yields. Use of the technology will also mean large-scale commercial testing of Edeniq’s cellulosic ethanol platform, called Pathway, the company says.
The “Cellunator” technology produces sugars by milling corn and other plant materials into “right-sized” particles of feedstock that can be more easily converted into fuel.
Aemetis’ Keyes facility currently produces 60 million gallons of ethanol annually.
“The relationship with Edeniq will allow us to further expand our production of advanced biofuels,” says Eric McAfee, chairman and CEO of Aemetis. “The addition of Edeniq’s technology is expected to immediately improve our ethanol yield, and allow us to produce cellulosic ethanol at commercial scale by upgrading of existing corn ethanol production facility.”
The goal, he says, is to eventually get to the holy grail of ethanol: making ethanol at commercial levels from lower cost biofuels derived from a variety of renewable feedstocks such as grasses, agricultural residues, and purpose-grown energy crops.
Edeniq owns and operates a demonstration-scale production facility in Visalia, which it says is currently converting a range of cellulosic feedstock into low-cost cellulosic sugars and cellulosic ethanol.
Edeniq and Aemetis plan to evolve the Keyes facility into a fully integrated biorefinery with cellulosic feedstock production through the testing of Edeniq and Aemetis proprietary enzymes.
“One of the benefits of having a location in the Central Valley of California is that we can help our customers take advantage of the agricultural resources this area provides,” says Brian Thome, president and CEO of Edeniq. “The installation at Aemetis will allow us to work together to begin to utilize non-food plant material and will further demonstrate Edeniq’s mission of leveraging current industry assets to bring additional unrealized ethanol fuels to market.”