Chromatin signs sorghum supply deal with Aemetis

By Chromatin Inc. | February 22, 2013

Chromatin Inc., a leading provider of innovative crop breeding technology, sorghum seed products and feedstocks, and Aemetis Inc., an advanced fuels and renewable chemicals company, have announced that they have entered into a multi-year agreement to source locally-grown grain sorghum. Under the agreement, Chromatin will engage local growers to plant its hybrid grain sorghum on up to 30,000 acres, and Aemetis will use that sorghum in its Keyes, Calif., facility to produce advanced biofuels.

“This agreement with Aemetis is an important step in Chromatin’s commitment to market high quality sorghum hybrids for the production of Advanced Biofuels feedstocks,” Chromatin CEO Daphne Preuss said. “We are pleased to partner with Aemetis, who has already demonstrated that using sorghum can provide considerable advantages for ethanol production.”

“As Aemetis is currently transitioning from traditional to advanced feedstocks at our Keyes plant, this partnership with Chromatin represents a key step in our ability to source locally grown grain sorghum for the production of advanced biofuels,” said Eric McAfee, Chairman and CEO of Aemetis.
“By working with Chromatin and California farmers to source local grain sorghum, Aemetis will lower its carbon intensity in the production process, and further the goals of California’s low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) as well as the federal renewable fuel standard (RFS),” added McAfee.

Aemetis previously reported that it is seeking U.S. EPA approval to use grain sorghum to produce advanced biofuels, generally defined by the EPA as fuels that contain less than 50 percent of the carbon intensity of gasoline through the use of advanced feedstock, bio-methane, and combined heat and power. To increase the availability of sorghum in the local California market, Chromatin is providing growers with hybrid sorghum seed that can be used as an effective double crop alternative behind wheat or in rotation with cotton and vegetable crops. Growers have praised sorghum as an easy substitute for corn because it is easy to grow, uses less fertilizer and water and is tolerant to both heat and drought conditions. In addition, the residue from the harvest of sorghum grain can be used to produce biogas or as high quality animal feed.

By using locally grown sorghum, Aemetis is expecting to further reduce its carbon footprint and enhance the stability of its supply chains. California-grown sorghum has proven to be cost competitive and energy efficient.