AEC releases report on cellulosic biofuels projects

Source: By Holly Jessen. Ethanol Producer Magazine • Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2012

 Advanced Ethanol Council

The Advanced Ethanol Council on Dec. 19 released a nearly 20-page report profiling U.S. and Canadian cellulosic biofuels facilities and development projects. In addition, it contains information about efforts in China, Denmark, Germany, Italy and Spain where the technology developed will be deployed in the U.S.

“The renewable fuel standard was amended to include cellulosic biofuels just 5 years ago,” the report said. “Despite the global recession, the cellulosic biofuels industry now has facilities and projects under development in more than 20 U.S. states representing billions of dollars of private investment. Enzyme costs are down 80 percent in the last decade, and cellulosic biofuels are being produced for $2 per gallon or less today.”

The report features profiles pilot or demonstration scale plants currently in operation as well as commercial facilities in the engineering phase or under construction/commissioning. The companies expecting to produce cellulosic ethanol or cellulosic sugars include Abengoa Bioenergy, American Process Inc., Beta Renewables, BlueFire Renewables, Calriant, Enerkem, Fiberight, Fulcrum Bioenergy, Imbicon, Ineos Bio, Iogen, LanzaTech, Mascoma, Poet-DSM Advanced Biofuels and ZeaChem Inc. Kior, a cellulosic gasoline and cellulosic diesel company, was also profiled. “This report provides a commercial deployment update for a number of first movers in the cellulosic biofuels sector,” it said, adding that it doesn’t cover all cellulosic biofuel projects worldwide and doesn’t include information on other advanced biofuel sectors.

Beyond cellulosic biofuels, the companies are expected to produce a variety of other products, such as renewable power, industrial molasses, bio-chemicals, aviation fuel and more. The projects utilize diverse feedstocks, including straw, wood, bagasse, used utility/telephone poles, municipal solid waste, energy crops, synthesis gas, corn crop residue and more.

Each company profile takes up one page and includes photos, a timeline of the path to commercial development and more. For example, it features information about the two LanzaTech demo plants in China, which began operations this year, producing ethanol from waste gases from steel mills. Then there’s the Ineos Bio facility in Vero Beach, Fla., which is currently in the commissioning stage. The report also reveals that the proposed ZeaChem plant in Boardman, Ore., is expected to create 200 direct construction jobs as well as 250 indirect jobs for construction and full time operations.

The full report has been posted online.