Edeniq, a biomaterials and sustainable fuels technology company, has begun engineering and construction of a bagasse-to-sugars demonstration-scale plant together with its partner, Usina Vale, a Brazilian sugar and ethanol producer. The demonstration plant will produce cellulosic sugars from sugarcane bagasse, the fibrous by-product of sugarcane juice extraction. Cellulosic sugars will be converted into ethanol at the site, showcasing how sugarcane mills can increase ethanol production economically with Edeniq’s bolt-on technologies.
The plant will handle up to 20 tons per day of bagasse and will be co-located at Usina Vale’s ethanol and sugar production site in São Paulo State, Brazil.
Edeniq and Usina Vale cooperated to conduct a feasibility study to evaluate the economics of integrating Edeniq’s technology into Usina Vale’s plant to produce cellulosic ethanol. After the successful results of the feasibility study, Edeniq and Usina Vale signed a collaboration agreement under which they are jointly funding the bagasse to sugars demonstration-scale plant, which will be a first of its kind in the region. Co-locating the demo plant at Usina Vale’s commercial site will accelerate the technology scale-up from demo to full-scale, and the technology will then be deployed at affiliated ethanol plants.
Edeniq’s technologies efficiently break down biomass to liberate cellulosic sugars that can be converted into ethanol and other products. Edeniq owns and operates a fully integrated two ton per day pilot plant in Visalia, California, in partnership with Logos Technologies, which is currently in operation converting cellulosic feedstock into low-cost cellulosic sugars and cellulosic ethanol.
Key to the process is Edeniq’s proprietary Cellunator, which mechanically pre-treats biomass so that it can be more easily converted to sugars, increasing sugar yield and thus driving an increase in ethanol yield. The Brazil plant will also include the company’s proprietary reactor design for continuous enzymatic conversion of biomass to sugar.