July 22, 2008

INEOS Bio to license syngas fermentation technology

INEOS Group Holdings PLC, one of the three largest chemical conglomerates in the world, has announced the July 1, 2008 formation of a new company, INEOS Bio, whose initial focus will be the commercialization of what they call "the World’s leading second generation bioethanol technology process" to serve the global renewable transport fuels market.

The technology has been in development by Bioengineering Resources Inc. of Fayetteville, Arkansas for over two decades. While the process can certainly use cellulosic material as feedstocks (switchgrass, corn stover, wood wastes, rice straw, etc.) it does not produce "cellulosic ethanol" in the purest sense of the term. Through gasification, it reduces all components of the feedstock, not just the cellulose, into a syngas that is then fermented into ethanol with the water filtered out. Pound for pound, the process is anticipated to produce the highest amount of ethanol (roughly 105 gallons / ton of feedstock - depending on the carbon content and btu energy of the feedstock blend) of any thermochemical biorefinery process. As a result, Municipal Solid Wastes (MSW) can be used as a feedstock and tires and fossil residues (like petcoke) can be blended in to increase the volume yield.

As illustrated in their website animation, the heat generated by gasification will be captured for co-generation of electricity - a byproduct that will help reduce the energy cost of the system and provide an important second profit stream.

The company plans on licensing new commercial-scale facilities that will be producing millions of gallons of ethanol by 2011.

Below is the press release as published on the new INEOS Bio website.

Cars to run on fuel from household waste within two years
July 19th 2008, Fayetteville, AR
(Click here for video announcement)

INEOS now has technology to produce commercial quantities of bio ethanol fuel from landfill waste. Second generation bio ethanol reduces greenhouse gases from car use by 90% and doesn’t use food crops in the production process.

Cars to run on fuel from household waste within two years

“This is a breakthrough technology” says INEOS Bio CEO.

INEOS, one of the world’s top three chemical companies, announced today that it is aiming to produce commercial quantities of bioethanol fuel from biodegradable municipal waste within two years.

INEOS new technology will produce bioethanol in huge quantities from municipal solid waste, green waste, animal waste and agricultural residues amongst other things.
According to Peter Williams, INEOS Bio CEO, “Consistent with changing policy, in regions such as North America and Europe we see around 10% of the gasoline or petrol being replaced with second generation bioethanol. We believe our technology will make a major contribution to reducing greenhouse gases and the world’s need for fossil fuels."

INEOS Bio Ethanol releases up to 90% less net greenhouse gases than petrol. One tonne of dry waste can be converted into about 400 litres of ethanol, which can be blended with or replace traditional fuels to substantially reduce vehicle emissions.

The technology – already proven at pilot plant scale – uses a simple three-stage process. The waste is first superheated to produce gases. Then, through a patented process, the gases are fed to naturally occurring bacteria, which efficiently produce ethanol. Finally, the ethanol is purified to make the fuel ready to be blended for use in cars.

Car companies have already developed engines that can run efficiently on both bioethanol and conventional fuels. Up to now, the challenge has been that bioethanol has been manufactured primarily from food crops and this has raised concerns on price and availability.
Peter Williams says, “The fact that we have been able to decouple second generation biofuel from food is a major breakthrough, and we expect our technology to provide a low-cost route to renewable fuels”.

Dr Geriant Evans is the Technology Transfer Manager for the UK’s National Non Food Crops Centre. He says: “This technology really ticks all the boxes. It turns waste into biofuel; it reduces greenhouse gases and doesn’t rely on food crops. We need this produced on a global scale as soon as possible. It’s a revolutionary technology”.

Governments, NGO’s and Municipal Authorities are already welcoming second generation Bio Fuels such as INEOS Bio Ethanol, which will contribute to both reducing greenhouse gases and the ever-growing waste disposal problem.

The process was developed in Fayetteville, Arkansas where Dan Coody is Mayor. He recognises the enormous potential.
“We’re proud that this technology has been developed here and it is definitely a technology that we’d like to employ in the City of Fayetteville. It will help us reduce our landfill, reduce our CO2 emissions and our reliance on foreign fuels all at the same time”

With the technology proven at pilot scale, the next challenge is to bring second-generation bioethanol into commercial production. INEOS aims to do this within two years.
Peter Williams, INEOS Bio CEO says: “We expect to announce the location of the first commercial pilot plant fairly shortly and we will quickly roll out this technology around the world. We aim to be producing commercial amounts of bioethanol fuel, for cars, from waste within about two years. "

technorati , , , , ,

1 comment:

larryhagedon said...

The more of these competing technologies htta we can get up qan running, the quicker we will figure out the next generation processes. This is amazing stuff for me to watch. Keep it coming.