ecologic consulting

Abengoa Bioenergy signs project with US Department of Energy
Abengoa Bioenergy signs project with US Department of Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy and Abengoa Bioenergy New Technologies have signed a 4-year, $35.5 million (U.S.) contract in 2003 to develop the technology for Advanced Biorefining of Distillers Grain and Corn Stover Blends: Pre-Commercialization of Biomass-derived Process Technologies. Abengoa Bioenergy New Technologies, in collaboration with Novozymes North America, Inc., the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Stake Technology, will lead the research team to develop novel biomass-derived process technology that utilizes advanced bio-refined Distiller's Grain and Corn Stover blends to achieve significantly higher ethanol yields while maintaining the protein feed value. This technology will enable a more economical, sustainable industry, reduce fossil fuel consumption per gallon of ethanol produced, and increase the availability of ethanol.

In short, the project will create a successful system of utilizing the entire plant, grain plus biomass, for the production of valuable ethanol. It will also demonstrate at bench- and pilot-scale viable processes for Distiller's Grain and Corn Stover to convert residual starch, cellulose and hemicellulose to ethanol and high-protein feed. Bench-scale and small pilot-scale process analysis will undergo Stage-Gate economic evaluation for advancement into large pilot-scale integration. The project will involve residual starch and fiber conversion and biomass conversion.


The first phase of this project is to demonstrate residual starch conversion at pilot plant scale and to evaluate co-products. The pilot plant at York, NE, was commissioned in May, 2004 and is currently operating to optimize various cereal ethanol processes. A 1.5 metric ton/day biomass refinery pilot plant is currently integrated into the existing facility. The biomass pilot plant, scheduled to begin operation in early 2007, can process a variety of hebaceous and woody feedstocks.

The objectives for the biorefinery pilot plant are to obtain engineering design data for scale up to commercial plant design and to generate large quantities of various co-products for further development and evaluation.


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