California-based AE Biofuels, which just changed its name to Aemetis, has refocused its company from producing first generation biofuels to producing renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels instead.
In June, AE Biofuels acquired Maryland-based industrial biotech company Zymetis, which led to the change of the company’s direction. Aemetis now owns Zymetis’ proprietary aerobic marine organisms, ( Saccharophagus degradans 2-40 trademarked Z-microbe) that will enable the company to produce bio-isoprene, glycerine, and in the pipeline – adipic acid and butanediols.
The bio-isoprene activities are really increasing!
Aemetis is still operating its 55m gal/year ethanol plant in Keyes, California, and a 50m gal/year integrated chemicals/biofuels plant in Kakinada, India. The India plant has been using non-food palm stearine to produce specialty chemicals and pharma-grade glycerine for domestic and export use (particularly Europe and US).
From what I saw on their company presentation, Aemetis’ plans is to convert existing biofuels plants (such as their California ethanol facility) into biorefineries through joint ventures. Aemetis will provide funding, technology and will market the chemicals and advanced fuels while biofuels plant owner receives 25% of ongoing operating cash flow from joint venture.
I’m sure we’ll hear more about Aemetis in the near future.