Vertimass completes first technology license to Alliance BioEnergy Plus
In the United States (US), biomass conversion technology developers Vertimass LLC has announced that it has completed its first technology license agreement with Alliance BioEnergy Plus, Inc. in West Palm Beach, Florida, to produce renewable jet fuel along with Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylenes (BTEX). BTEX is a widely used building block from which hundreds of consumer products are made.
Founded in 2012, Vertimass was awarded a worldwide exclusive license for novel catalyst technology invented at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ONRL) for the conversion of ethanol into jet fuel, diesel fuel, and gasoline blendstocks that are compatible with the current transportation fuel infrastructure.
Vertimass’ technology allows sustainable production of these vital fuels and chemicals from ethanol with high yields that can dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to sourcing these products from petroleum.
It is great to secure our first licensee in the US to deploy our technology on cellulosic ethanol from locally grown biomass and cellulosic waste material. Combining the CTS technology to produce cellulosic ethanol and our technology to transform that ethanol into jet fuel and chemicals will have significant impacts on moving forward towards carbon reduction, said Dr John Hannon, Chief Operating Officer of Vertimass.
Platform to offer ethanol producers product flexibility
Vertimass Ethanol-to-Jet (EtJ) fuel and BTEX technology offer cellulosic ethanol producers the flexibility to diversify their product slate and market renewable fuels and chemicals that have low carbon footprints.
The simplicity of the Vertimass technology results in low capital and operating costs and the ability to rapidly implement this bolt-on. In addition, its potential to eliminate rectification and dehydration operations for fuel ethanol purification from fermentation broths can result in a hydrocarbon fuel unit energy cost that is about the same as for fuel-grade ethanol, said Dr Charles Wyma, President and CEO, Vertimass.
In addition to improving competitiveness, jet fuel and BTEX from ethanol can accelerate the transition to renewable fuels and chemicals and improve rural economies. BTEX is a widely used building block from which hundreds of consumer products ranging from pharmaceuticals to paints and plastics are made.
I am very excited to develop this product line together with Vertimass. It creates great carbon reduction in significant fuel markets, and it does that at a competitive cost. I see this as a significant mutual development and an extension of product ranges and markets for both our companies, said Ben Slager, CEO of Alliance BioEnergy Plus.
According to Alliance BioEnergy Plus, the company has been “completely overhauled” by the present board and executive management and is about to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy that it filed in October 2018. Furthermore, it has “further improved” its technology which efficiently converts virtually any cellulosic material into its base components of sugar and lignin.
Alliance’ business strategy is to first produce cellulosic ethanol from sugars converted via its Cellulose-to-Sugars (CTS) process and subsequently cellulosic jet fuel and diesel from the ethanol with the Vertimass technology. Immediately after, Alliance will expand into cellulosic bioplastics.