Ineos, BlueFire begin marketing cellulosic technologies

By Kris Bevill | November 09, 2011

As anticipated, Ineos Bio has launched a licensing program for its waste-to-bioenergy technology, recently announcing the selection of global engineering firm AMEC to be its license support engineering firm. Licensing packages will be optimized and customized for each site, based largely on the amount of available feedstock for the facility. The technology is based on a modular design, which allows for the construction of plants in varying sizes to match the specified area’s feedstock supplies, beginning with an 8 MMgy train, according to Dan Cummings, vice president of Ineos Bio.

AMEC currently serves as the engineering firm for Ineos New Planet BioEnergy LLC’s 8 MMgy Indian River BioEnergy Center in Vero Beach, Fla. That facility is on track to begin production in the second quarter of 2012, according to Ineos, and will generate 6 megawatts of renewable power in addition to producing ethanol from vegetative waste, agriculture waste and municipal solid waste.

“We are proud of our continued relationship with Ineos and believe our experience working with advanced bioprocesses and our first-hand understanding of the Ineos Bio technology will benefit future licensees,” Neil Bruce, chief operating officer at AMEC, said. Based in the UK, AMEC employs approximately 27,000 people in 40 countries and is one of the world’s leading engineering, project management and consultancy firms.

Ineos Bio’s parent company, Ineos, is also based in the UK and is the world’s fourth largest chemicals group and a leading manufacturer of petrochemicals and specialty chemicals. Ineos currently has more than 270 licenses for its technologies in 51 countries. Ineos Bio plans to capitalize on its parent company’s licensing experience and will utilize a similar approach to licensing its bioenergy technology, the company stated.   

Ineos Bio CEO Peter Williams said the agreement with AMEC marks another milestone for Ineos Bio as it advances its plan to address waste management challenges through the use of its technology to produce bioenergy. “We’ve designed our sustainable solution so it’s easily licensed and can be replicated around the world to create renewable bioenergy from waste, bringing us energy independence and providing opportunities for cleantech jobs,” he stated.

Cummings said Ineos Bio has already received inquiries from India as well as other regions and is in the early stages of design for several facilities. Plants utilizing Ineos Bio technology could come online in as little as two years, he said. Ineos Bio will also entertain establishing its own additional facilities.

BlueFire forms SucreSource

In California, BlueFire Renewables Inc. CEO Arnie Klann announced the availability of its technology through a newly formed subsidiary, SucreSource, which will focus solely on providing front-end cellulosic sugar capabilities to companies with back-end fermentation, bio-reactor and catalysis processes.

“Back-end biochemical and biofuel processes need low-cost, non-food cellulosic sugars for widespread commercialization, whether the end product be ethanol, biobutanol, ethyl levulinate, etc,” Klann stated. “BlueFire’s front-end technology that breaks down cellulosic waste into its component sugars can meet that growing need. SucreSource provides a platform for BlueFire to service the many inquiries and requests for sugars that come our way.”

According to BlueFire, its concentrated acid hydrolysis technology process offers an 85 percent or better conversion rate and can be used with multiple feedstocks. The technology allows for xylose, glucose or other sugars to be isolated and delivered, depending on the customer’s needs. The company is currently in discussions with several potential buyers of sugars, according to BlueFire.