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Praj’s ‘enfinity’ ethanol tech selected for novel bagasse-based biorefinery in the US

India-headed ethanol plant engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) provider Praj Industries Ltd (Praj) has announced that Omega Energy USA LLC, a US-based oil, gas, and renewable energy developer has selected Praj’s proprietary and award-winning ‘enfinity’ conversion technology for what could be the first sugarcane bagasse biorefinery in the United States (US).

A view of the hydrolysis and co-fermentation unit of Praj Industries 2G ethanol demonstration plant in Pune, India. Amongst other things, the 1 million litre per annum plant deploys Praj’s enfinity technology (photo courtesy Praj Industries).

According to a statement, Praj’s proprietary and award-winning ‘enfinity’ technology will be deployed to produce ethanol and other co-products using sugarcane bagasse in what would be the first bagasse-based biorefinery in the US.

The biorefinery is being jointly promoted by Florida-based Omega Energy USA, while Louisiana-based Louisiana Sugar Cane Cooperative Inc., (Lasuca Sugar), a producer of cane sugar, will supply the bagasse feedstock.

The promoters have issued a formal letter confirming their interest to engage Praj for developing the design and project programme for a cellulosic ethanol biorefinery in the US. The proposed project in the sugarcane belt of the country will have the capacity to produce 10-15 million (US) gallons (≈ 38.75 – 58.13 million litres) per annum of cellulosic ethanol.

Lasuca and Omega Energy are in the process of “completing necessary formalities” for the project.

Earlier this year, US-based domain specialists had visited Praj’s 2G integrated biorefinery demonstration plant and Praj Matrix, the R&D center in Pune to study ‘enfinity’ technology.

This development comes on the back of a successful 60-day robust operation of our 2G demo plant that was monitored and evaluated on various parameters by experts from the Oil and Gas major. In addition to the Louisiana prospect, Praj is already executing four integrated bio-refineries for oil companies in India. We are delighted that ‘enfinity’, an Indian technology, is gaining global recognition and acceptance from developed markets like the USA. This reinforces Praj’s position as a global leader in the advanced bioeconomy, said Pramod Chaudhari, Executive Chairman, Praj Industries.

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