LanzaTech, Sapphire Energy, LS9 advance towards commercialization as ABM opens

November 8, 2011 |

In California, as CEOs and other advanced biofuels leaders gathered for the opening of Advanced Biofuels Markets in San Francisco, LanzaTech, Sapphire Energy and LS9 announced the achievement of key milestones in  their path to commercialization. LS( made a major step-up towards scale; LanzaTech landed its first commercial customer, and Sapphire Energy closed its key USDA loan guarantee.

In California, LS9 announced that it has successfully scaled its technology 20X to the 20,000 liter scale, demonstrating continued progress in the scale-up and commercialization of its bio-based chemicals and fuels technology platform, and produced one ton of a specific chemical for its strategic partner, Proctor & Gamble.

Through the first quarter of 2012, LS9 expects to make additional runs at the 20,000 liter level and continue to increase production to 50,000 liters with both their chemicals and fuels products. These increases in production runs will lead to the start-up of the 135,000 liter fermentation vessel at the Company’s facility in Okeechobee, Florida. This will be the stepping stone to a commercial plant, which would require only a 4 or 5-fold further increase in scale. The Okeechobee facility is currently being retrofit and is expected to be online by the first quarter of 2012.

In New Mexico, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the closing of a loan guarantee to Sapphire Energy, which intends to design, build and operate a $135 million integrated algal biorefinery (IABR) in Columbus, N.M., for the production of drop-in, advanced diesel and renewable jet fuel. The IABR will be capable of producing 100 barrels of refined algal oil per day, equivalent to at least one million gallons per year. The oil will be shipped to the United States Gulf Coast to be refined by Sapphire’s refinery partner, Dynamic Fuels, located in Geismar, La. The funding is provided through USDA’s Biorefinery Assistance Program. On December 3, 2009, USDA issued a conditional commitment for an 80 percent guarantee on a $54.5 million loan. The loan closing and issuance of the Loan Note Guarantee for this project took place on October 21, 2011.

In Illinois, LanzaTech has just signed its first commercial customer, marking a milestone in the clean energy technology company’s global development. The customer is Concord Enviro Systems (India) Pvt. Ltd (CES), a Mumbai-based company which has broad ranging investments in various forms of renewable energy. The company’s portfolio of waste-to-energy includes municipal solid waste (MSW) to energy at the largest contributor. Through a group company Concord Blue, a German-Indian company, it provides advanced gasification technology for syngas generation from a wide variety of waste streams. LanzaTech CEO Jennifer Holmgren commented, “It’s about moving on to another type of waste…  MSW.  What makes this project most exciting is we will try to create an integrated msw to ethanol solution which can be scaled down in size such that it is economically viable in a distributed fashion.  If we can succeed in that- then we will be able to deploy a bit like the cell phone industry has where there is a way to communicate, off the traditional grid.”

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Category: Producer News

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