INEOS Bio produces cellulosic ethanol at commercial scale

INEOS Bio's Indian River BioEnergy Center in Vero Beach, Florida in the US is now producing cellulosic ethanol at commercial scale.
INEOS Bio produces cellulosic ethanol at commercial scale

The shipments, which began this month, represent a critical step for the company, which is using what it describes as a "breakthrough" gasification and fermentation technology for conversion of biomass waste into bioethanol and renewable power.

“We are delighted with the progress made by our team at Vero Beach”, said Peter Williams, CEO of INEOS Bio and Chairman of INEOS New Planet BioEnergy, in announcing the start of shipments from the facility.

“They have successfully addressed the challenges of moving a new technology to large production scale for the very first time. Consequently, we are now pleased to announce that we are producing commercial quantities of bioethanol from vegetative and wood waste, and at the same time exporting power to the local community – a world first," he continued "We expect to spend the remainder of 2013 putting the plant through its paces, and demonstrating full nameplate capacity.”

Williams said commercial-scale production validates the technical and economic viability of INEOS Bio's technology.

"We remain convinced that the ability to divert waste materials from communities by converting them into competitively priced renewable fuel and power offers an excellent value proposition," he said. "It helps solve waste disposal issues, contributes to the supply of affordable and renewable fuel and energy, creates attractive jobs, and provides a sustainable source of value for the community. We look forward to taking the next steps in building a global business based on the broad deployment of this advanced technology."

The BioEnergy Center is a joint venture project between INEOS Bio and New Planet Energy. The facility has already converted several types of waste biomass material into bioethanol, including vegetative and yard waste, and citrus, oak, pine, and pallet wood waste. It will have an annual output of eight million gallons (24kta) of cellulosic ethanol and six megawatts (gross) of renewable power.

The Center is also permitted to utilize municipal solid waste (MSW), quantities of which will be used for bioethanol production at the Center during 2014.

Williams said INEOS Bio is already working with other companies and cities globally to use this technology as a new direction for waste disposal and the production of advanced biofuels and renewable power.

In the meantime, the start of commercial production at the Vero Beach facility is being hailed as a milestone toward achieving the goals of the Obama Administration's Renewable Fuel Standard.

“The production of commercial scale cellulosic biofuels is a very significant achievement and a direct result of American biotech innovation," said Brent Erickson, an executive vice president with the Biotechnology Industry Organization.v

"INEOS Bio’s biorefinery is the first to prove a biotech process successful at commercial scale. It has already created hundreds of jobs and brought economic growth – as well as renewable electricity – to its Florida community. This shows the Renewable Fuel Standard is working plain and simple," he said.

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