Alliance BioEnergy Plus: Technology adds value to ethanol plants

By Ann Bailey | April 20, 2016

Alliance BioEnergy Plus Inc. has developed a technology that the company said will allow corn ethanol plants to process their own distillers grains and corn kernel fiber into cellulosic ethanol, adding millions of gallons to their annual output.

Alliance BioEnergy Plus Inc. tested its bolt-on cellulosic ethanol solution and its Harvest Technology CoPro Max separation unit at Alliance’s laboratories and its pilot plant, Ex Laboratories. Steady State testing has shown that the corn kernel is one of the most ideal feedstocks when used in the CTS process and converts almost all of the available sugars in as few as 12 minutes, Alliance Bio-Energy Plus said.

When combined with the CoPro Max system, the CTS process adds nearly 12 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol to a typical 100 MMgy corn ethanol plant and recovers most of the corn oil and proteins from the distillers grains. The sale of the additional ethanol, corn oil, proteins and cellulosic credits can result in a yearly increase of nearly $48 million to a typical 100 MMgy corn plant, Alliance BioEnergy Plus said.

Meanwhile, because there is no need for other feedstock, expensive material handling or pretreatment processes are required. The logistical challenges and costs typically associated with daily transporting thousands of tons of sourced feedstock also is eliminated.

The combined CTS/CoPro Max system allows corn ethanol plants to enter into the mandated cellulosic ethanol market with a low capital expense and the ability to expand and add outside feedstocks if the company chooses to do that. More importantly, it transports distillers grains, a typically low yielding revenue source, into a high-value profit center, Alliance BioEnergy Plus said.

Alliance BioEnergy Plus plans to build and install the technology in an existing plant this year and begin marketing the first unit to more than 200 U.S. ethanol pants by the fourth quarter.