US-headed advanced renewable fuels and biochemicals company Aemetis Inc., has announced that it has signed a Master Agreement with key exclusive rights for the use of "an advanced gasification technology" from InEnTec, Inc. of Richland, Washington to produce cellulosic ethanol.
According to a statement, the InEnTec gasification technology agreement is a key part of Aemetis’ strategy to produce high value, low carbon cellulosic ethanol from locally sourced biomass by integrating InEnTec’s patented advanced gasification technology with LanzaTech’s patented microbial fermentation technology.
InEnTec has successfully installed 13 units worldwide since 1995. More than US$130 million was invested in the development of the InEnTec gasification technology. InEnTec’s technology was developed at MIT and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) with the support of the US Department of Energy (DOE).
Under the Master Agreement, Aemetis has predominant exclusive rights to use the InEnTec gasification equipment and technology for cellulosic ethanol production until 2024. The gasification technology complements Aemetis’ current license with LanzaTech for syngas-to-ethanol conversion, providing Aemetis with a complete technology solution to produce locally sourced, low carbon cellulosic ethanol.
The high-quality syngas produced by the InEnTec advanced gasifier feeds LanzaTech’s patented microbe and reactor system to generate high yields of low-cost cellulosic ethanol. This combination of technologies provides Aemetis with exclusive technology rights to a patent-protected and high value production process, stated Eric McAfee, Chairman and CEO of Aemetis
Cellulosic ethanol significantly reduces transportation carbon emissions and under California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) will qualify Aemetis for a far lower carbon intensity score than conventional ethanol. Cellulosic ethanol reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by approximately 80 percent compared to gasoline.
Under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that was enacted in 2007, the cellulosic ethanol production mandate limit increases each year to up to 16 billion gallons per year by 2022. The current market price of cellulosic ethanol sold in California is estimated to be US$4.50 per gallon, about US$3.00 more per gallon than conventional ethanol.