Sylvatex, Trucent announce scale up of MicroX technology

By Trucent | October 17, 2018

Sylvatex Inc. and Trucent recently announced successful scale up and blending of MicroX renewable blendstock from an optimized distillers corn oil (DCO) to free fatty acid (FFA) hydrolysis process. The scale up followed completion of development, construction and operation of a pilot system that was undertaken as part of the joint development agreement the companies entered in February 2018.

The companies are now working to identify commercial ethanol producers interested in becoming colocation partners and private fleets for fuel demonstration partnerships. MicroX enables oxygenates, such as ethanol, to blend seamlessly into diesel leading to a very low carbon lifecycle, and low emissions fuel with significantly favorable production economics.

MicroX meets ASTM D8181, a recently approved standard (press release here), that covers specifications for microemulsion blendstocks for middle distillate fuels. This new standard for renewable bio-based blendstocks that can be used as a diesel alternative provides specifications to ensure that the fuel being produced meets quality and consistency measures while also correlating with vehicle performance to fuel properties.

“We are very pleased with the success of the scale up. Coupled with the new ASTM standard it ensures a positive pathway to commercialization,” said Virginia Klausmeier, CEO of Sylvatex. “Our collaboration with Trucent has been beneficial to both parties, and we are now engaging in an active search for companies interested in joining us to commercialize MicroX blendstocks. In addition to the performance and economic benefits, the compelling carbon life cycle assessment of MicroX offers ethanol producers and fuel demonstration partners a significant added value.”

“Scale up affirmed the technology break-throughs we developed during lab testing. Our enzyme recycle technology and low energy reactors resulted in even lower operating costs than predicted,” said James Bleyer, director of technology development for Trucent. “The pilot plant and technology is now ready for a colocation demonstration, and production of market development quantities of MicroX”.

Sylvatex’s technology utilizes converted distiller’s corn oil, and other plant-based oil feedstocks, into the company’s proprietary MicroX renewable blendstock. The innovative MicroX platform can be used in a number of fuel and specialty chemical applications. The MicroX process brings emulsion stability to ethanol, and other alcohol-based additives, as blendstocks for diesel fuel. This stability overcomes the typical phase separation issues with alcohols leading to a stable and well-blended biodiesel product.