In the United States (US), biomass conversion technology developer Atlantic Biomass, LLC has announced the results of its Phase I Maryland Energy Innovation Institute (MEII) scale-up project to verify the use of residual hemp biomass for the production of biofuels including sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).
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According to Robert Kozak, President of Atlantic Biomass the results “clearly showed” that the very low-value biomass left over from hemp flower and bud harvests could be economically converted into biofuels by using the Atlantic Biomass process.
The scale-up results are solid and very promising. We’re using them to finish plans for a Phase II prototype that we’d like to have operating for the 2022 harvest, Robert Kozak said.
The Phase I project was a joint venture of Atlantic Biomass, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (an 1890 Land Grant HBCU), Hood College, and Ohio State University.
We put together a team that knew all aspects of getting biomass to ethanol quickly and inexpensively. We worked well together and can’t wait to finish a commercial unit, said Robert Kozak.
Robert Kozak highlights that the six key aspects of the system that make it economically successful are:
- High availability: nearly 80 percent of the hemp biomass is available for ethanol production;
- High yields: ethanol yields from residual hemp biomass are comparable to those from corn grown expressly for ethanol production;
- Economic equity: income from residual hemp biomass for biofuels would de-risk start-up and minority hemp/cannabis operations;
- Total sugars conversion: the process achieves high ethanol yields by using all biomass sugars;
- Portable scale: the Atlantic Biomass Conversion System is distributed and uses portable modules; and
- No pretreatment: the process does not require pretreatment or hydrolysis additives.