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Waste Management Invests In Terrabon Waste-to-Renewable Gasoline Venture

Terrabon’s pathway to renewable hydrocarbon fuel produces ketones, which are then processed using conventional refinery technology. Click to enlarge.

Waste Management, Inc. has invested in waste-to-fuel company Terrabon, LLC. Terrabon is the developer of a carboxylic acid fermentation platform licensed from Texas A&M University for the conversion of biomass to fuel intermediates that can then be upgraded into industrial chemicals and renewable gasoline. (Earlier post.)

Waste Management is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management and environmental services in North America. The company joins Valero Energy Corp., the largest refiner in North America, which also invested in Terrabon in April 2009 and recently increased its investment in Terrabon. This investment from Waste Management and Valero will be used by Terrabon to advance the scalability of their technology.

We see waste as a resource to be recovered in a way that protects and enhances the environment, and this investment in Terrabon, together with Waste Management's other renewable energy initiatives, will help move Waste Management toward meeting two of its sustainability goals: doubling its renewable energy production and investing in emerging technologies for managing waste.

—Carl Rush, vice president of Organic Growth at Waste Management

Waste Management will also assist Terrabon in securing organic waste streams, which Terrabon will use to produce high-octane gasoline using its MixAlco technology. MixAlco is an acid fermentation process that converts biomass into organic salts.

The resulting non-hazardous organic salts, or bio-crude, would be then shipped by truck, rail or pipeline to a Valero refinery or other centralized processing facility where it would be converted to a high-octane gasoline that can be blended directly into a refiner’s fuel pool, avoiding many of the blending and logistics challenges presented by ethanol. Terrabon recently successfully completed the production of gasoline from sorghum biomass at its advanced biofuels research facility in Bryan, Texas.

We believe our technology, which allows for the deployment of smaller scale plants locally, combined with strategic partnerships in upstream feedstock sourcing and downstream gasoline off-take, establishes a framework for the first fully integrated biofuels company in the US.

—Gary W. Luce, CEO for Terrabon


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