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Commercial Time: Aemetis Embarks on $158 Million Cellulosic Ethanol Project in California

Submitted by on March 8, 2018 – 10:58 amNo Comment

by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest)   … I’d start with the news from Aemetis that they are embarking now on a $158 million cellulosic ethanol plant — to be built in Riverbank, California, in partnership with LanzaTech.

Cellulosic ethanol is selling for such a high price in California right now — the value jumps north of $4.00 per gallon at times — that any producer of conventional ethanol is going to see the market opportunity. The current market price of cellulosic ethanol sold in California is estimated to be $3.00 more per gallon than conventional ethanol.

The key is getting it done and making it happen. And something very special to that end is underway in central California right now.

In partnership with its key technology providers InEnTec and LanzaTech, Aemetis successfully optimized the integration of an advanced arc furnace and gas fermentation technologies to convert waste biomass into low carbon, renewable cellulosic ethanol and fish meal. The unit was built at the InEnTec Technology Center in Richland, Washington and demonstrated the fully integrated system, including biomass handling, gasification, gas clean up, waste treatment and distillation systems.

With a 20-year feedstock supply agreement and a 55-year lease already signed, the 12 million gallon per year Riverbank plant is expected to begin operations in 2019.

For the demonstration unit, Aemetis used waste orchard wood and nut shells from almond and walnut trees as feedstock, gasified the biomass using a high temperature plasma gasification system to produce synthesis gas (“syngas”), cooled and cleaned the syngas, and supplied the syngas to a patented gas fermentation bioreactor to produce an ethanol broth. The broth was subsequently distilled to produce commercial grade ethanol.

The feedstock to be supplied comes from the more than 1.6 million tons of waste orchard wood and nutshells that are generated each year from approximately 1 million acres of almond, walnut, and pistachio orchards in the Central Valley. Aemetis’ price of the feedstock is approximately $20 per ton delivered for the first ten years.  READ MORE

From Conventional to AdvantagedThe Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Aemetis

From Pollution to ProductsThe Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to LanzaTech

Aemetis begins procurement for cellulosic ethanol plant (Ethanol Producer Magazine)

Aemetis validates yields at cellulosic demonstration plant (Ethanol Producer Magazine)

BP’s advanced biodiesel supply in India a step closer (Biofuels International)

Aemetis Completes Construction of Advanced Biodiesel Pre-Treatment Unit Required for BP Supply Agreement (Market Watch)

Aemetis Inc secures US$158mln USDA loan for biofuel plant construction (Oil Capital)

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