The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it has approved Pacific Ethanol’s registration of its Stockton, California plant to generate D3 cellulosic Renewable Identification Numbers (RINS) using Edeniq’s Pathway Technology. The company’s kernel fiber to cellulosic ethanol technology was recently featured during a panel discussion at the 29th annual ACE Ethanol Conference.
“This approval is a landmark for the ethanol industry and our company,” said Brian Thome, President and CEO of Edeniq. “This opens the door for low-cost production of cellulosic ethanol from corn kernel fiber in existing fermentation vessels to drive yields to 3 gallons per bushel. While we have long heard the story – ‘Cellulosic ethanol will be here in five to ten years,’ Edeniq’s Pathway Technology for profitably producing cellulosic ethanol is here today. A 120 million gallon per year corn ethanol plant can increase its revenue by up to $10 million or more through integration of Pathway, with very little investment and a less than one-year payback. This is a game-changer for the cellulosic ethanol industry, which has historically focused on investing in new plants.”
According to Edeniq, their technology is the lowest-cost solution for producing cellulosic ethanol from kernel fiber when using existing fermenters at corn ethanol plants. The company also says its Pathway Technology combination of cellulase enzyme and Edeniq’s Cellunator high-shear milling equipment produces up to 2.5 percent cellulosic ethanol, up to a 7 percent increase in overall ethanol yield due to yield enhancement from starch and cellulose, and up to a 30 percent increase in corn oil recovery.
Pacific Ethanol began producing cellulosic ethanol at its 60 million gallon per year Stockton, CA plant in December 2015 using the Pathway Technology. Neil Koehler, the company’s president and CEO, said of the technology, “The EPA-approved registration for generating cellulosic ethanol and D3 RINs is an important milestone in our strategy to be a leading producer of cellulosic ethanol. We expect to produce over one million gallons per year of cellulosic ethanol at our Stockton facility. With the high-value D3 RINs, the carbon credit under California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, and the federal Second Generation Biofuel Producer tax credit, we expect that cellulosic ethanol production will materially contribute to the profitability of our Stockton facility. As we confirm and optimize our cellulosic ethanol production process, we will look toward expanding this to other Pacific Ethanol plants.”