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Ace Ethanol to install D3MAX cellulosic tech at its Stanley corn dry mill plant

US-based technology company D3MAX, LLC and Ace Ethanol, LLC have announced that Ace Ethanol will be the first ethanol plant to integrate the patented D3MAX technology with its existing corn dry mill. Ace Ethanol has received approval from its board of directors and members to proceed with the design and construction of the corn kernel fibre-to-ethanol plant that will also incorporate membrane-based ethanol recovery technology supplied by UK-headed Whitefox Technologies Ltd.

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The skid-mounted D3MAX cellulosic ethanol unit is being shipped to ACE Ethanol for pilot testing (photo courtesy AdvanceBio Systems).
The skid-mounted D3MAX cellulosic ethanol unit used for pilot testing (photo courtesy AdvanceBio Systems). The skid-mounted D3MAX cellulosic ethanol unit is being shipped to ACE Ethanol for pilot testing (photo courtesy AdvanceBio Systems).

According to a statement, Ace Ethanol has selected Fagen Inc. to build the new facility at its Stanley, Wisconsin (WI) corn dry mill ethanol plant. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer, pending final negotiations and signing of the contract with Fagen.

The team at D3MAX was extremely excited to hear the news that the Ace board and members approved moving forward with the project, said Mark Yancey, Chief Technology Officer at D3MAX.

Last year Ace Ethanol and D3MAX conducted extensive pilot testing of the technology.

The D3MAX process was able to meet or exceed our performance goals. Based upon the pilot testing, D3MAX demonstrated the ability to substantially improve our companies’ financial performance by converting corn kernel fiber to cellulosic ethanol. We are excited to have selected the companies who we believe are the best engineering and construction contractors to build the D3MAX plant, and the yeast and enzyme suppliers who give us the best opportunity for success to boost our bottom-line, said Neal Kemmet, President and General Manager at Ace Ethanol and Fox River Valley Ethanol.

Based on the results of pilot testing, Ace and D3MAX selected DSM to supply enzymes for the process, and Lallemand Biofuels & Distilled Spirits have been selected to supply the yeast. The existing Ace plant and the new process will be fully integrated for maximum energy efficiency and ethanol yield.

Furthermore, the selection of the companies who will work together to build the first D3MAX plant marks another major milestone for the technology company on its path to commercialization.

We have assembled the best team with the best technologies to build the first commercial-scale D3MAX plant. We are employing a fully integrated design at the Ace plant which will make the facility one of the most energy efficient ethanol plants in the US with the highest ethanol yield per bushel. The combined facilities will be so efficient that the energy use of the new integrated facility will be approximately the same as the current Ace ethanol plant. We are very excited to make this announcement and begin the construction of what we believe will be the new benchmark for the industry, said Yancey.

According to Yancey, it is the only corn kernel fibre-to-ethanol process that will not require an independent engineer to validate the cellulosic ethanol production every 500 000 (US) gallons (≈ 1.9 million litres) of cellulosic ethanol produced.

With the process, cellulosic ethanol gallons can be measured directly avoiding the cost of re-certification required by US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) for in-situ corn kernel fibre processes and processes that mix corn starch or sugar with the cellulosic sugars. Currently, all other corn kernel fibre technologies require costly re-certification every 500 000 gallons (≈ 1.9 million litres).

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