LanzaTech, Earth Energy, PGF Biofuels, Elevance make bioeconomy waves with announces

December 5, 2013 |

While industry eyes have been nervously fixated on Washington and the EPA’s thought process on targets for renewable fuels in 2014, it has been an incredibly strong week for innovation, with key announcements that advance the narrative at LanzaTech, Elevance, Earth Energy renewables (e.g. “the technology that once pwoered Terrabon, and PGF Biofuels (the first licensee in Canada for Agrisoma’s new carinata feedstock)

Lanza Tech

In California, Concord Blue USA and LanzaTech have entered into an agreement to integrate their individually proven technologies to demonstrate the production of fuels and chemicals from waste materials. LanzaTech will install a Concord Blue Reformer at its Freedom Pines facility in Soperton, GA to convert waste biomass from regional forestry operations into syngas. The syngas will be converted by LanzaTech’s proprietary gas fermentation process into a range of biofuels and chemicals. The integration and testing at Freedom Pines will serve as an important step towards commercialization of the integrated technologies for multiple projects that both companies have under contract and in development.

Concord Blue has developed a closed-loop, commercially proven, non-incineration process that recycles nearly any form of waste, including landfill waste and sewage sludge, into energy at virtually any scale. By working closely with leading businesses, governments and communities around the globe, Concord Blue creates tailored solutions that safely and effectively dispose of waste streams while producing clean energy through advanced waste conversion.

Meanwhile, LanzaTech’s proprietary technology has earned a global sustainability certification from the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials at a pre-commercial facility in China. The proven process is able to produce fuels and chemicals through the capture and reuse of a variety of gas streams, such as syngas, from gasified biomass, municipal solid waste and waste gases from industrial processes.

Says LanzaTech CEo Jennifer Holmgren, “It will be small scale- not commercial – but it will allow us to spend more time on syn gas (CO + H2) and not just CO which is what you tend to find in industrial sites like steel mills.  we will focus the work there on waste biomass but we are going to be working together on a commercial project in India which is based on MSW. Our technology fits well into these small, distributed MSW facilities enabling access to energy and fuels to a set of people that don’t always have access to these.”

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Earth Energy Renewables

In Texas, Earth Energy Renewables announced that it has successfully produced high yields of very pure, bio-based carboxylic acids from sustainable organic wastes such as food waste and other negative-cost wastes. EER produced these acids using its patented technology that converts any biodegradable material into valuable carboxylic acids by means of a non-sterile anaerobic fermentation and proprietary extraction process.

According to Chief Technology Officer Dr. Cesar B. Granda, this fermentation is similar to anaerobic digestion; however, the final products are carboxylic acids, which are short-chain fatty acids such as propionic, butyric, valeric, caproic, heptanoic and octanoic acids rather than lower-value methane typically produced in anaerobic digestion.

EER is the first to sustainably extract these industrial acids from anaerobic digestion. The Company estimates that the acids are worth 15 times more than methane produced by conventional anaerobic digestion.

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PGF Biofuels

In Canada, PGF Biofuels has received Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials certification for Resonance carinata. PGF Biofuels is the first Canadian organization and only the fourth feedstock provider globally to obtain this distinguished certification.

Carinata is an oilseed crop well adapted to production in semi-arid regions with an oil profile ideally suited for use in the renewable aviation and biodiesel fuel industries. PGF Biofuels has partnered with Agrisoma Biosciences on the commercialization and market development for carinata under the Resonance brand and is working with Paterson Grain to contract with local growers for production.

Mr. Andrew B. Paterson, Chief Executive Officer of PGF Biofuels said, “RSB certification will now allow us to access a number of global markets for carinata oil, which can be converted into renewable aviation fuel or biodiesel.”

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In Illinois, Elevance Renewable Sciences announced recent developments in renewable synthetic lubricant basestocks designed to provide differentiated performance in broad markets such as engine and gear lubricants, metalworking, industrial and hydraulic fluids, and greases, and highlighted Elevance Aria WTP 40, a newly developed, high-viscosity lubricant basestock that combines the composition and properties of two key synthetic basestock technologies into a single, high-performance product.

“We have synthesized novel lubricant basestocks showing excellent wear resistance performance and lubricity and have progressed development of these,” said Robin Weitkamp, Elevance Senior Vice President, Lubricants and Additives. “Our initial development of lubricant components has created novel architectures that result in improved performance aimed at addressing today’s challenging lubricant industry requirements.

“Preliminary evaluations of Aria™ WTP 40 have demonstrated balanced additive solvency, lower friction, excellent wear resistance, increased deposit control and cleanliness, high viscosity index, and improved shear stability. The data predicts increased performance across a wide range of temperatures, clean operation and better lubrication leading to improved equipment durability.”

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