Patriot Renewable Fuels hires Leifmark to plan first stage of major US cellulosic ethanol project

May 27, 2014 |


Inbicon technology planned as centerpiece of low-carbon, high-profit platform: “Patriot will lead the way.”

In Illinois, Patriot Renewable Fuels announced that Leifmark has been hired to create a custom Project Definition, the first stage of a plan for co-locating an Inbicon Biomass Refinery on the site of Patriot’s 110 MMgy grain-ethanol plant in Annawan, Illinois.

At the centerpiece of the technology platform is the Inbicon biomass conversion technology, which Denmark’s DONG Energy began developing in the late 1990s and has demonstrated for over 15,000 hours at its Inbicon Biomass Refinery in Kalundborg, where it typically processes 4.4 tons an hour of wheat straw.

The commercial model in the plans for Annawan will process about 1320 tons per day of corn stover using Inbicon’s patented technology and mixed-sugar (cellulose/hemicellulose) fermentation. Annual production will be 25-30 MMgy of cellulosic ethanol and up to 175,000 tons of high-purity lignin, which has BTU value similar to coal and can provide more than enough base-load power to run the operation without fossil fuels.


More about the Inbicon process

Inbicon’s technology produces cellulosic ethanol or renewable chemicals from wheat straw via enzymatic hydrolysis, with co-products including renewable power. Two new versions of the design are designed for either co-location or integration with large existing grain-ethanol plants. In America alone, the market for cellulosic ethanol is expected to reach a government-mandated 16-billion gallons annually by 2022.

A third new version, ready for licensing 2014/Q2, stops short of making ethanol. Instead, it delivers clarified industrial sugars to innovators in biochemicals.

Last June, Inbicon announced that its cellulosic biofuels demonstration plant had crossed the 15,000 operating hour mark, since opening in December 2009, in converting wheat straw into cellulosic ethanol and other renewable fuel. Inbicon sells commercial licenses for processes that make low-carbon renewable transportation fuel and electrical power from the leftovers of the grain and cane harvests, such as corn stalks, various straws and grasses, and sugar bagasse.

More about Patriot

Patriot has been attracting attention to its 100 Mgy Annawan plant over the past two years for embracing advanced technologies and strategies.

Last November, Patriot Holdings approved the formation of Patriot Fuels, Biodiesel, a subsidiary that will build a 5mgy biodiesel production facility adjacent to the current Patriot Renewable Fuels ethanol plant in Annawan. The plant has been selling corn oil to other biodiesel producers since the facility opened in 2011, and sees this transition as more cost-effective transportation-wise, as well as for marketing. The plant will utilize the SUPER Process designed by Jatro Diesel.

Last October, the company opted to install ICM’s Selective Milling Technology to increase ethanol yield, reduce viscosity, and increase oil recovery. The ICM technology is patent pending.

Reaction from the partners

“Leifmark’s analysis will give us a clear picture of the overall technical and economic factors,” said Patrio Renewable Fuels president Gene Griffith. “Their study will provide a sound basis for deciding whether Patriot should go ahead with the engineering phase of the project.”

Paul Kamp, Leifmark co-founding partner in Chicago, says, “Patriot has a history of innovation since its Annawan plant opened in 2008. Adding cellulosic ethanol production is a natural next step. A successful cellulosic project must achieve three major goals. First, low-carbon fuels that the U.S. EPA values highest and meet the toughest environmental standards. Second, a commercial rate of return, which will make the project readily financeable and highly profitable. And it must be sustainable long-term.”

Griffith sees societal advantages that support company values. “Besides building Patriot’s future, the project will add jobs in our community, strengthen our nation’s energy security, and help the environment.”

Leifmark co-founding partner Tom Corle added, “Grain-ethanol producers have transport and utilities in place, biomass residues in nearby fields, the know-how to operate refineries, and the wisdom to embrace a cellulosic future. They’re the ones who will drive cellulosic ethanol gallons to meet the U.S. Renewable Fuels Standard.

We will take this message to policy-makers. Patriot will lead the way.”

More on the story.


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