Edeniq: Biofuels Digest’s 2015 5-Minute Guide

January 22, 2015 |

5-Minute-Guide-logoEdeniq is a biorefining and cellulosic technology company. Edeniq delivers integrated process innovations that unlock sugars. These technological innovations uniquely combine mechanical and biological processes. Edeniq’s capital light and operationally efficient solutions can be easily integrated into existing biorefineries that produce ethanol, other biofuels, biochemicals, and/or bio-based products.


50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy: #38, 2014/15

Biofuels Digest Awards

Biofuels Digest’s 2012 Pretreatment Technology Award: Cellunator

Finalist, 2014 Transformative Technologies, ““Transformative conversion technology (solid state or supercritical)”

The Situation

Edeniq is currently rolling out the company’s complete PATHWAY Platform, which increases ethanol yield at existing plants by three to six percent through a more complete conversion of starch and cellulosic corn kernel fiber into ethanol.

The company’s Cellunator pretreatment technology, a component of the PATHWAY Platform, has been operating commercially inside corn ethanol plants since 2009. The Cellunator enables ethanol plants to mill corn and other plant materials into a well-mixed slurry of small, uniformly-sized feedstock that can be more easily converted into sugars needed to produce biofuels and other biomaterials.

Edeniq owns and operates a pilot plant in Visalia, California where the company’s patented technologies are currently being used to convert cellulosic feedstocks, such as corn stover, to cellulosic sugars. These technologies are also being installed in a larger demonstration plant in São Paulo State, Brazil, which is being co-constructed by Edeniq and partner, Usina Vale, a Brazilian sugar and ethanol producer. The demonstration plant will produce cellulosic sugars from sugarcane bagasse, the fibrous by-product of sugarcane juice extraction.

In December 2014, Edeniq and Global Bio-chem signed a Joint Development Agreement. The two companies will integrate their technologies in a commercial demonstration plant at Global Bio-chem’s facility in the Jilin Province of China.

Major Investors (if a public company, please provide trading symbol and exchange).

I2BF Global Ventures

Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Angeleno Group

Flint Hills Resources Renewables

The Westly Group

Cyrus Capital

Nimes Capital

Top Past Milestones

In December 2014, Edeniq signed a Joint Development Agreement with Global Bio-chem, a leading manufacturer of chemicals from industrial sugars. Ms. Xu Ziyi, Executive Director of Global Bio-chem, said, “China has a large and growing demand for biobased products. This partnership will allow us to further develop and commercialize our technology platform utilizing the millions of metric tons per year of corn stover available in the Jilin Province, while significantly reducing the production costs of corn stover-based sugar.”

In July 2014, the EPA determined that corn kernel fiber qualifies as a cellulosic feedstock under the renewable fuel standard (“RFS”) program regulations, allowing allow Edeniq’s PATHWAY Platform to be used by customers to produce cellulosic ethanol inside corn ethanol plants.

In June 2014, Edeniq announced the successful performance of its PATHWAY Validation Facility. “The pilot facility confirms a necessary high-precision consistency in the PATHWAY Platform that is a first for our industry,” said Tom Griffin, Chief Technology Officer, Edeniq, Inc. “Our customers are looking for a way to generate and validate cellulosic ethanol production, and with Edeniq’s PATHWAY Platform coupled with this unique pilot facility, we have equipped them with the solution.”

In October 2013, Flint Hills Resources Renewables confirmed that Edeniq’s Cellunators have achieved the desired increase in ethanol production at its Fairbank, Iowa facility and that the company will install Cellunators at two additional locations. Flint Hills has been an investor in Edeniq since April 2012 and a customer since July 2011.

In August 2013, Edeniq and agricultural feedstock firm Pacific Ag signed a five-year exclusive agreement. “By combining Edeniq’s bolt-on production technologies for corn ethanol plants with Pacific Ag’s agricultural biomass supply capabilities, we will provide the best turnkey solution for today’s producers to economically integrate cellulosic production into their existing facilities,” indicated President & CEO Brian Thome.

In January 2013, Edeniq and Pacific Ethanol entered into an agreement to install Edeniq technology at the company’s Stockton, California ethanol plant. Pacific Ethanol will install Edeniq’s proprietary Cellunators to boost ethanol yields, and will also deploy Edeniq’s patented OilPlus™ corn oil extraction process to increase corn oil recovery.

Top Future Milestone Goals

Commercial sales of the complete PATHWAY Platform, which include conversion of corn kernel fiber to cellulosic ethanol inside existing plants. “Cellulosic ethanol produced from corn kernel fiber is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to improve the efficiency and sustainability of the ethanol industry in the United States,” said Brian Thome, President and CEO of Edeniq.

Scale up of low cost cellulosic sugars. “This relationship with Global Bio-chem will accelerate the scale-up and commercialization of our continuous sugars process and build upon years of technology development at our pilot facilities in California,” said Mr. Brian Thome, President and CEO of Edeniq.

Business Model

Edeniq currently has two main businesses.

  • Edeniq sells and licenses profit-boosting technologies to US corn ethanol plants. Key products are the Cellunator and PATHWAY Platform, both of which increase ethanol yield.
  • Edeniq has entered into strategic partnerships to develop low-cost cellulosic sugars bolt-on facilities. Cellulosic sugars can be a feedstock for ethanol, biofuels, and/or biochemicals.

Competitive Edge

Broad Market Applicability: Low-cost sugars (from corn, cellulosic or other feedstocks) feed into a variety of possible revenue streams and result in more economically-competitive products.

Mechanical and Biological Integration: The patented combination of proprietary machines and enzymes brings cutting-edge research and development to existing facilities.

Open-System Plant Partnerships: Business model allows for close collaboration with existing producers (in the US, Brazil, China and ROW) and those migrating to next-generation production.

Capital cost: Bolt-on configuration minimizes capital expenditures by maximizing the utility of existing plant and unit operation assets – most notably using existing fermentation and distillation assets to convert cellulosic sugars to cellulosic ethanol.

Research, or Manufacturing Partnerships or Alliances

Worldwide exclusive license to Cellunator biomass milling machine (OEM is IKA Works)

Department of Energy program funded $20M of a $25M retrofit of Edeniq’s existing cellulosic ethanol pilot plant.

California Energy Commission (CEC) added a nearly $4 million grant to focus on California based agricultural waste feedstocks; along with funds to perform feasibility studies to commercialize the technology at California corn ethanol plants.

Current investors, including Flint Hills Resources Renewables (largest division of Koch Industries), put in equity in a Series C2 round, which closed in December 2014.


The Cellunator is fully commercial; the first Cellunator sale occurred in 2009.

The cellulosic sugars bolt-on plants are in the scale-up phase.

Company website

Project information

Pilot Biorefinery


Visalia, California

Materials or products produced

Cellulosic Sugars

Capacity (Millions of US gallons per years)

50,000 GPY

Year, month in service

Plant has been in service since March 2012


Corn stover
Sugarcane bagasse

Processing technology

Edeniq combines a mechanical pretreatment process with enzymatic hydrolysis to efficiently and cost-effectively break down structural plant materials into cellulosic sugars.

Mechanical pretreatment (Cellunator)
Enzymatic hydrolysis
Combination of sacccharification and fermentation
SmartFlow™ Technology for water and lignin recovery

Product information

Product Brand Name: Cellunator

Product Description: Proprietary mixing and particle sizing milling device

Product Applications:

Installed and running at four Edeniq customer facilities, as well as showcased at Edeniq’s pilot biorefinery facility located at Visalia headquarters

Unique Features:

Pretreatment of corn and cellulosic biomass increases conversion efficiency of starch and cellulose by increasing surface area of particles and making particle sizes uniform; delivers low-cost, high-quality sugars for ethanol and other biobased materials production

Feedstocks and bio-based content:

Mills a variety of feedstocks such as corn, sugarcane bagasse, woodchips, corn stover, switchgrass, sugarcane

Product Brand Name: PATHWAY Platform

Product Description: Process that increases ethanol yield at existing plants by three to six percent through a more complete conversion of starch and cellulosic corn kernel fiber into ethanol

Product Applications:

PATHWAY integrates enzymes with the Cellunator to allow for conversion of corn kernel fiber into sugars and cellulosic ethanol

Unique Features:

Enables production of cellulosic ethanol inside existing corn ethanol plants

Feedstocks and bio-based content:


Product Brand Name: OilPlus

Product Description: Proprietary corn oil extraction unit and process

Product Applications:

Releases oil from corn ethanol process, allowing it to be sold as a value add by-product

Unique Features: 

Proprietary oil recovery process increases corn oil extraction, adding value

Feedstocks and bio-based content:



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