Edeniq demo plant surpasses 1,000 continuous operational hours

By Edeniq Inc. | May 14, 2013

Edeniq Inc., a biomaterials and sustainable fuels company, has announced the company’s first demonstration plant, located at its Visalia, Calif., headquarters, has completed a successful “performance test” that exceeded the benchmark of  1,000 hours of continuous operation.  The Corn-to-Cellulosic Migration plant utilizes Edeniq’s proprietary technology to process over one metric ton of cellulosic feedstock per day to cellulosic ethanol, exceeding the plant’s initial target.  

The project was borne out of an initial $20.5 million grant from the U.S. DOE also under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009, to retrofit and build the California plant as part of the DOE’s Integrated Biorefinery and Biomass program.  This effort has been carried out in partnership between Logos Technologies LLC, as prime contractor and administrator, and Edeniq, as primary subcontractor, technology provider, and operator.  The objective of the project has been to demonstrate the viability of scaleable, cost-effective approaches to producing ethanol from non-consumptive sources including corn stover, switchgrass, and woodchips.

In addition to achieving over 1,000 hours of continuous operation, the plant sustained and exceeded the DOE’s target of at least 90 percent up time, in fact demonstrating over 95 percent operational reliability.  The facility also promoted sustainable use of resources, reusing or recycling substantial portions of its water to meet process demands.

“While we have been developing these ethanol technology solutions for years, being able to fully integrate and operate our own plant has given us invaluable, deeper insight into the intricacies of the process and has enabled us to continuously improve our core technologies and operations.” said Thomas P. Griffin, chief technology officer at Edeniq. “The DOE has been a tremendous leader and driver in moving U.S. interests toward the commercialization of advanced biofuels, and we look forward to further collaboration with them in the pursuit of this shared mission.”

The Visalia plant employs Edeniq’s integrated mechanical and biological processes to efficiently and cost effectively break down plant materials into ‘right-sized’ particles and convert them into the sugars needed to produce biofuels.  A number of ethanol producers are working with Edeniq’s technologies and processes to expand their plant-based resources into future markets and applications by integrating a variety of cellulosic based feedstocks into their production mix.

The project paired Edeniq’s core technologies, engineering expertise, and plant operations capabilities with Logos Technologies' project management, engineering and government relations expertise to develop the plant and execute the demonstration project successfully.

Following this milestone, Edeniq will continue operations of the plant under the co-sponsorship of the California Energy Commission.  The plant will undergo further process enhancements toward the production of low-cost sugars from a range of biomass and agricultural waste sources, including those indigenous and strategic to California.  Edeniq is already leveraging the technical and operational lessons learned from this project in the design and implementation of larger scale facilities—including the demonstration of low-cost, high-purity sugars production via bagasse processing at 20 metric tons per day.