ICM has short list for its Gen 1.5 Cellulosic Ethanol

June 18, 2016 |

In Kansas, ICM said it is is currently in discussion with a short list of those interested in being selected as an early adopter of its Gen 1.5 technology, and they anticipate construction of the first commercial cellulosic plant of its kind built next to an existing grain ethanol plant in the near future.

ICM’s patent-pending Generation 1.5 Grain Fiber to Cellulosic Ethanol Technology integrates a process for converting corn fiber to cellulosic ethanol with existing ethanol plants. This pathway to cellulosic ethanol starts with ICM’s patented technologies, Selective Milling Technology and Fiber Separation Technology.  First, a selective grind of the corn slurry to make the starch and oil more accessible in the entire process. Then, the fiber is separated from the stream by counter flow washing steps.

The Gen 1.5 process sends the fiber stream to a dilute acid pretreatment that breaks down the fiber and makes the cellulose stream accessible for further processing.  After pre-treatment, the stream moves to simultaneous saccarification and fermentation, whereby the cellulose stream is converted to sugars and then C5 and C6 sugars are converted to cellulosic ethanol with advanced proprietary yeast.  Finally, distillation and final separation.

Novozymes provides the enzyme cocktail which converts the cellulose stream into accessible sugars, and DSM developed the yeasts that ferment both the C5 and C6 sugars.

ICM’s Gen 1.5 process has been proven in both pilot (up to 35,000 gallons) and production (585,000 gallons) fermentors in runs greater than 1000 hours increasing ethanol yield up to 10% and increasing corn oil yield up to 20%.  The cellulosic gallons produced will be eligible to capture D3 RINs, cellulosic tax credits and California Low Carbon Fuel Standard Credits.

This process also produces a high protein DDGS mix.  ICM is presently conducting feed trials to demonstrate the added value of this animal feed as compared to standard DDGS.  Capex for the Gen 1.5 process is expected to be $3-5 per cellulosic gallon depending on scale and balance of plant requirements.

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