LS9 has started up its retrofitted demonstration plant in Okeechobee, Florida with an initial production run of fatty alcohols. These will eventually be converted to renewable fuels and biochemicals. Fatty alcohols are long carbon chain alcohols, and used widely in the $5 billion market for surfactants that include detergents. The facility will also be used to test and optimize new process conditions.
“We are very pleased that our very first run at 135,000 liter scale went so well. It is a direct reflection of the strength of our technology team in South San Francisco and our operations team in Okeechobee,” said Ed Dineen, President and CEO of LS9.
At the onset, the facility will be focused on enhancing production capabilities and to generate large chemical samples for testing and product qualification. LS9 representatives said the first run performed well producing several tons of fatty alcohol with excellent replication of technical metrics seen at pilot scale.
“We plan to perform additional fatty alcohol runs to demonstrate the robustness of our technology platform and then switch to diesel fuel and ester chemical production to further demonstrate the production optionality of the technology,” continued Dineen.
Greg Rood, LS9’s vice president of operations, added, “We’d like to thank all of our employees who have been involved with this project, especially Pablo Otero who was the Project Director. In addition, we would like to recognize the support of the Florida Opportunity Fund and all the local contractors who helped us retrofit the facility.”