US ZeaChem begins production of cellulosic chemicals, ethanol

12 March 2013 21:30  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US biorefiner ZeaChem has produced commercial-grade cellulosic chemicals and ethanol from woody biomass and agricultural residue, bringing it one step closer to large-scale production, the company said on Tuesday.

ZeaChem is developing a 25m gal/year commercial biorefinery next to its 250,000 gal/year integrated demonstration biorefinery at the port of Morrow in Boardman, Oregon.

The company uses its two-carbon (C2) atom platform to convert non-food biomass into cellulose-based ethanol and intermediate chemicals such as acetic acid and ethyl acetate.

The technology can also be used to create three-carbon (C3) chemicals, including propionic acid, ethyl propionate, propanol and propylene.

Jim Imbler, the company’s CEO, said: “The start of cellulosic production is a significant milestone for ZeaChem as we demonstrate our highly efficient biorefining technology, develop the first commercial biorefinery project and expand global development opportunities.”

Development of the commercial biorefinery is under way, supported by a loan guarantee from the US Department of Agriculture, ZeaChem said.

The company did not give a timetable for the commercial project's completion or start-up.

By: Tracy Dang
+1 713 525 2653

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