Aemetis partners with Edeniq to implement Cellunator technology

By Edeniq Inc. | November 09, 2012

Edeniq Inc., a biomaterials and sustainable fuels company, has announced that Aemetis Inc., an advanced fuels and renewable chemicals company, has entered into an agreement to install Edeniq technology at the Aemetis Advanced Fuels Keyes plant in California.  Aemetis will install Edeniq’s proprietary Cellunators to boost ethanol yields and will conduct large-scale commercial testing of Edeniq’s cellulosic ethanol Pathway platform.   

Edeniq’s Cellunator technology produces sugars by milling corn and other plant materials into “right-sized” particles of feedstock that can be more easily converted. Edeniq is installing Cellunators at Aemetis’ Keyes, Calif., facility, which currently produces 60 million gallons of ethanol annually.  Aemetis is also one of three ethanol producers working with Edeniq on the company’s Pathway platform, a patented process that integrates enzymes with the Cellunator technology to produce cellulosic ethanol using the existing plant infrastructure. Aemetis is testing the commercial feasibility of the Pathway platform on site at their plant.

“The relationship with Edeniq will allow us to further expand our production of advanced biofuels,” said Eric McAfee, Chairman and CEO of Cupertino, California based Aemetis.  “The addition of Edeniq’s technology is expected to immediately improve our ethanol yield, and allow us to produce cellulosic ethanol at commercial scale by upgrading the existing corn ethanol production facility.  Edeniq’s technology will help us lead the transition to next generation, lower carbon, lower cost biofuels derived from a variety of renewable feedstocks such as grasses, agricultural residues, and purpose-grown energy crops.”

Edeniq owns and operates a demonstration-scale production facility in Visalia, California, which is currently converting a range of cellulosic feedstock into low-cost cellulosic sugars and cellulosic ethanol.  In June, Edeniq received a $3.9 million grant from the California Energy Commission as part of California’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program.  The grant was given to Edeniq to help fund further developments and innovative enhancements to Edeniq's proprietary cellulosic ethanol technology, enabling the  low capital cost addition of cellulosic ethanol production to corn-based ethanol plants in California.  Aemetis was also granted a $1.8 million grant from the CEC to test and commercialize cellulosic ethanol utilizing Aemetis’ patented microbial cellulosic enzyme technology.  By deploying the two CEC grants, Edeniq and Aemetis plan to evolve the Keyes facility into a fully integrated biorefinery with cellulosic feedstock production through the testing of Edeniq and Aemetis proprietary enzymes.

Edeniq was recently named as one of the top private clean technology companies on Cleantech Group’s 2012 Global Cleantech 100 and one of the Biofuel Digest’s Top 50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy.  Edeniq has previously announced the company has entered into a partnership with Flint Hills Resources Renewables and a customer agreement with Plymouth Energy. 

“One of the benefits of having a location in the Central Valley of California is that we can help our customers take advantage of the agricultural resources this area provides,” said Brian Thome, president and CEO of Edeniq.  “The installation at Aemetis will allow us to work together to begin to utilize non-food plant material and will further demonstrate Edeniq’s mission of leveraging current industry assets to bring additional unrealized ethanol fuels to market.”