Inbicon logs 15,000 testing hours at its demonstration plant

By Inbicon | June 05, 2013

Inbicon has announced a major technical milestone achieved by its first biomass refinery in Kalundborg, Denmark. Since opening in December 2009, the demonstration plant has operated more than 15,000 hours, turning wheat straw into cellulosic ethanol and other renewable fuels.

"We were first in the world to test our process so extensively," said Benny Mai, chief commercial officer of Inbicon. "We've spent over a decade and over $200 million developing, proving, and optimizing our technology. We've committed $20 million more to ongoing R&D. The knowledge we've gained from 15,000 hours of running and improving the Inbicon Biomass Refinery­—a 4-metric-ton-per-hour wheat straw operation—will make our commercial performance guarantees robust and financeable."

Inbicon sells commercial licenses for processes that make low-carbon renewable transportation fuel and electrical power from the leftovers of the grain and cane harvests, such as corn stalks, various straws and grasses, and sugar bagasse.

"Inbicon will be the first biomass converter to guarantee four process options," says Mai. "Two new versions feature all-sugar fermentation, which can increase the yield of cellulosic ethanol by up to 50 percent over our previous commercial process."

At commercial scale, Inbicon Biomass Refineries can convert up to 1,320 metric tons a day of biomass such as corn stalks into 30 million gallons a year of cellulosic ethanol, which Inbicon calls “The New Ethanol.” The two new versions are designed for either co-location or integration with large existing grain-ethanol plants. In America alone, the market for cellulosic ethanol is expected to reach a government-mandated 16-billion gallons annually by 2022.     

A third new version, ready for licensing 2014/Q2, stops short of making ethanol. Instead, it delivers clarified industrial sugars to innovators in biochemicals with the clean-tech expertise to replace petrochemicals in such products as PET bottles and polyester fibers.

All four versions of the Inbicon Biomass Refinery also produce 180,000 metric tons a year of clean lignin, which can be converted to baseload electric power, dependably replacing coal with renewable energy. 

Inbicon is a subsidiary of DONG Energy A/S and organized under the business unit New Bio Solutions. Leifmark, its independent North American marketing partner, has deep roots in the U.S. and Canadian ethanol industries. Leifmark is currently working with project developers, ethanol producers, energy companies, and biochemical innovators to create sustainable solutions from Inbicon Biomass Refineries.