In the United States (US), biomass conversion technology developer Atlantic Biomass, LLC has announced that it has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with compatriot Bionoid, Inc., a multinational hemp supply and service company that focuses on ecologically sustainable, large-scale cultivation through farming partnerships, and pharmaceutical-grade processing, signaling a joint commitment to producing commercial quantities of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) from residual hemp biomass.
With operations and investments in the United States, Canada, and Ecuador, Bionoid has created an effective distribution network and global footprint, with a foundation built upon capital efficiency and rapid growth into industries such as health and green energy.
Located in Frederick, Maryland (MD) Atlantic Biomass, is focused on the development and commercialization of proprietary enzymatic-based biomass “deconstruction” processes. These allow the use of low-cost, non-food biomass as feedstocks for renewable sustainable biofuels and bioproducts.
Processes developed besides hemp biomass include sugar beet pulp for biofuels and dandelions for rubber.
Utilize residual hemp biomass
In a surprise announcement at the annual Advisory Board Meeting of the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute (MEII), Atlantic Biomass signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with Bionoid which is anticipated to lead to the production of SAF and other bioproducts from up to 190 000 tonnes of annual residual hemp biomass harvests.
The combination of our Integrated Farmer Program (IFP) with this very simple and very efficient process developed by Atlantic Biomass and their partners at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Ohio State University, and Hood College, will lead to a competitively priced source of renewable jet fuel, said Ariel Maman, Founder of Bionoid,
The first stage of this project will be based on hemp from farms in Ecuador that are part of the Cannabis Biomass Production Pilot Project that Bionoid has recently developed with the Ecuadorian Center for Environmental Biotechnology (CEBA).
Besides providing a very low greenhouse gas (GHG) renewable jet fuel, we will be able to provide a solid, sustainable income for growers international outside of the often volatile CBD (cannabidiol) market, Ariel Maman said.
Income from the purchase of biomass for SAF production is estimated at US$20 million over the three-year period included in the LoI.
This agreement with Bionoid launches us on the commercial pathway we need. And, we could not have done it without the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute (MEII). They took a chance on our lab science and with the Phase I funding we were able to prove it worked when we scaled it up. We can’t wait to build the prototype, said Robert Kozak, President of Atlantic Biomass.
The team’s next task is to translate Phase I results into a prototype that will be the basis for commercial operations.
In Phase II we have three goals. First, the system has to be easy to operate while producing high conversion efficiencies. Second, it has to be energy and GHG-efficient, and third, besides the initial design, it has to be the basis for future portable systems that can work in regions with dispersed farms like the Eastern Shore, Robert Kozak said.
Primary Phase II prototype testing is envisioned to take place in conjunction with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Department of Agriculture, Food, and Resource Sciences.
They already have built capacity in great hemp genetics, plant tissue culture systems, and pest management programs. We’d like to add biomass-to-biofuel processing to their quiver of expertise. This project would not only continue the tradition of building Maryland businesses by exporting Maryland- developed technologies, but it could also build the UMES biomass processing center into an international sustainable biofuel/bioproduct center, a first for an HBCU institution ended Robert Kozak.