Biomass refinery developer ZeaChem today announced the successful production of ethanol at a capacity that can be scaled to commercial production.
According to a news release, ZeaChem’s results have been confirmed by third party vendors and the company will now demonstrate the integration of its biorefining processes at its 250,000 gallon per year Boardman, Oregon biorefinery, announced earlier this month. The company plans begin cellulosic ethanol production at the plant next year.
Using off-the-shelf catalysts and standard equipment in an innovative way, ZeaChem produced ethanol from ethyl acetate through a process called hydrogenation –a common industrial practice that is readily scaled to commercial levels.
“Through the successful production of ethanol, we’ve completed ZeaChem’s C2 carbon chain suite of products, which includes acetic acid, ethyl acetate, and ethanol,” said Jim Imbler, president and CEO of ZeaChem. “The next step is to integrate these known processes to achieve the ultimate target of commercial production of economical and sustainable biofuels and bio-based chemicals.”
ZeaChem’s technology uses a bacteria found in termite guts in an anaerobic fermentation process that produces no CO2 emissions.