Engineering News

DOE to Fund Corn-to-Cellulosic Pilot Biorefinery
March 23, 2011

Logos Technologies, Inc. and EdeniQ, Inc., on Wednesday announced U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) approval to fully fund $20.5 million in federal cost share under DOE's Integrated Biorefinery Program to construct a Corn-to-Cellulosic Migration (CCM) pilot plant at EdeniQ's headquarters in Visalia, California.

In December 2009, DOE selected Logos and EdeniQ to receive, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a $20.5 million cooperative agreement for the Corn-to-Cellulosic Migration (CCM) Project. The goal of the CCM Project is to focus the migration of billions of dollars of capital deployed in today's corn ethanol industry toward cost-effective production of greener ethanol from corn stover, switchgrass, and woodchips.

"This project is part of the ongoing effort to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, spur the creation of the domestic biorefining industry, and provide new clean-tech jobs throughout the country," said the DOE project officer, Gene Petersen. He further stated that "these project funds sustain 43 positions over the 3.5-year project, with the majority of those positions located in central California. The majority of the construction and fabrication of the new refinery equipment will be done by Andy Egan, Inc. located in central Michigan. The funding has provided and sustained jobs in two areas that were significantly impacted by the recent economic downturn."

The commitment of the remaining $17.7M in federal cost share reflects that Logos and EdeniQ have satisfied all of the conditions associated with the design and engineering of the retrofit to EdeniQ's currently operating pilot plant. Previously in April 2010, DOE had released $2.8M in federal cost share for the initial "Budget Period 1" portion of the cooperative agreement.

The $17.7 million of committed funds will immediately be put to work to complete the engineering and construction of the additional equipment used to retrofit the plant and to fund the ongoing development of the second-generation enzymes and yeasts for saccharification and fermentation. The retrofit is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011. After plant start-up, the biorefinery will process 2 tons of cellulosic biomass per day.

Logos Technologies CEO Greg Poe remarked, "Of the many projects we have been involved in during our past many years of working with the U.S. federal government, this technology is one of the most exciting, as it provides a clear roadmap for companies to become next-generation fuel producers with very low capital costs and rapid returns on investments."

"DOE has been a great partner and very supportive of our technology and we are all pleased to take this significant next step with them as we will start the construction and start up phase of the CCM pilot plant," said EdeniQ CEO Brian Thome. "The Corn-to-Cellulosic Migration technologies add tremendous value to our already robust corn ethanol industry by allowing them to incrementally add on cellulosic ethanol production and take a leadership role in this exploding biofuels market space."

Logos Technologies, Inc. and EdeniQ, Inc. lead the team executing the DOE-sponsored CCM Project. EdeniQ is responsible for providing the CCM pilot plant, technology development, engineering, and commercialization plan. Logos is responsible for project management, engineering support, and project life-cycle analysis. The project utilizes a suite of EdeniQ's proprietary technologies: the Cellunator (mechanical pretreatment), advanced enzymes for conversion of cellulose to sugars, and high-yielding yeasts to ferment the sugars to ethanol.

Source: Logos Technologies, Inc.

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