Edeniq announces cellulosic demonstration plant in Brazil

By Edeniq Inc. | November 15, 2012

Edeniq Inc., a biomaterials and sustainable fuels technology company, has announced that it has begun engineering and construction of a bagasse-to-sugars demonstration-scale plant together with its partner, Usina Vale, a Brazilian sugar and ethanol producer. The demonstration plant will produce cellulosic sugars from sugarcane bagasse, the fibrous byproduct of sugarcane juice extraction. Cellulosic sugars will be converted into ethanol at the site, showcasing how sugarcane mills can increase ethanol production economically with Edeniq’s patented bolt-on technologies. The plant will handle up to 20 tons per day of bagasse and will be co-located at Usina Vale’s ethanol and sugar production site in São Paulo State, Brazil.

Edeniq and Usina Vale cooperated to conduct a feasibility study to evaluate the economics of integrating Edeniq’s technology into Usina Vale’s plant to produce cellulosic ethanol. After the successful results of the feasibility study, Edeniq and Usina Vale signed a collaboration agreement under which they are jointly funding the bagasse to sugars demonstration-scale plant, which will be a first of its kind in the region. Co-locating the demo plant at Usina Vale’s commercial site will accelerate the technology scale-up from demo to full-scale, and the technology will then be deployed at affiliated ethanol plants.

“Brazil has a large and growing demand for ethanol” said Pedro Augusto Menezes de Toledo Florencio, CEO of Usina Vale. “We believe Edeniq’s technology will allow us to increase ethanol production in a very economical way, allowing us to meet the growing demand of our customers and our country.”

Edeniq’s technologies efficiently break down biomass to liberate cellulosic sugars that can be converted into ethanol and other products. Edeniq owns and operates a fully integrated two ton per day pilot plant in Visalia, Calif., in partnership with Logos Technologies, which is currently in operation converting cellulosic feedstock into low-cost cellulosic sugars and cellulosic ethanol. Key to the process is Edeniq’s proprietary Cellunator, which mechanically pre-treats biomass so that it can be more easily converted to sugars, increasing sugar yield and thus driving an increase in ethanol yield. The Brazil plant will also include the company’s proprietary reactor design for continuous enzymatic conversion of biomass to sugar.

“Through this partnership with Usina Vale, we are further demonstrating our model of increasing the efficiency, scalability and sustainability of biofuels through low capital and operating cost technologies that can be integrated directly into existing ethanol production sites,” said Brian Thome, president and CEO of Edeniq. “Edeniq is developing the lowest cost route to cellulosic sugars, which will lead to low cost ethanol production for our partners like Usina Vale.”