BlueFire, Arkenol process cofounder form agreement

By Anna Austin | March 05, 2009
Web exclusive posted March 11, 2009, at 4:14 p.m. CST

California-based BlueFire Ethanol Inc. has formed a technology development services agreement with William Farone, an original cofounder of the Arkenol process technology.

In 1997, Arkenol Fuels Inc. first patented the process; Bluefire now holds the exclusive North American license. The technology uses a concentrated acid hydrolysis pathway to convert a wide range of cellulosic waste materials into ethanol.

Farone is president and chief executive officer of Applied Power Concepts Inc., a producer of higher-value sugar-based chemicals. He has 40 years of experience in the development of commercial processes from laboratory and pilot-scale plant studies, and has served as director of research for two multi-national companies for 16 years. Farone has more than 100 technical publications and patents in a variety of areas, including chemical engineering, spectroscopy and electromagnetic phenomena.

Under the new agreement, Farone and Applied Power Concepts Inc. will work with BlueFire to continue advancement of the technology. BlueFire will conduct development work at the APC facility in Anaheim, Calif. Several projects are being planned to further develop and enhance the process to produce higher-value cellulosic-derived products for the ethanol market as BlueFire's first commercial projects move into construction, according to the company.

BlueFire is currently developing a 3.2 MMgy cellulosic ethanol plant in Lancaster, Calif. In 2007, the company was one of six ethanol companies selected to receive a $40 million grant from the U.S. DOE, which it is using to build an additional 18 MMgy to 19 MMgy facility just outside of Palm Springs, Calif. BlueFire Mecca LLC will utilize landfill residues from the Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.