ALL Fuels tests enzymes for biomass-based ethanol

By Sarah Smith | April 08, 2008
Web exclusive posted April 14, 2008 at 12:28 p.m. CST

Iowa-based ALL Fuels & Energy is testing the first of ten enzymes it hopes will boost production of corn and cellulosic ethanol at a proposed 100 MMGy plant near Manchester, Iowa.

Testing of the first enzyme is expected to take 30 days, said ALL Fuels President Dean Sukowatey. "We are pleased at the rate at which our super enzyme is progressing," he said. The company estimates that if successful, the enzymes could cut ethanol production costs by 50 percent. Ethanol will be manufactured from biomass, surplus waste products, wood chips, household garbage and sugarcane waste, Sukowatey said.

ALL Fuels purchased a 150-acre site near Manchester, Iowa, and has secured $2.3 million in private equity financing. It has also brought an investment bank on board to help it look into acquiring and financing an existing ethanol facility.

In March, the company formed a joint alliance with a cellulosic biotech company. The venture, known as AFSE Enzyme LLC, is a subsidiary of All Fuels and is performing the enzyme testing. Even though the proposed plant is in the heart of corn country, ALL Fuels sought to eliminate this "traditional component" of ethanol and reduce its production costs significantly, Sukowatey said.

ALL Fuels has received $17 million in infrastructure improvements, tax credits, tax abatements and sales tax incentives from the state, city and Iowa Department of Economic Development.

It has contracted with Delta-T to provide process engineering services. Preliminary site work is under way pending permit approval, but no firm date has been set for construction.

"These efforts are promising and future developments are expected," Sukowatey said.