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New Canada-based cellulosic ethanol company launches; collaboration between Greenfield, Andritz and Novozymes

G2BioChem’s process design and patents, applied across the three phases of the planned demo plant. Source: G2BioChem. Click to enlarge.

GreenField Ethanol, Canada’s largest ethanol producer, announced the launch of G2BioChem, a collaborative effort between GreenField, industrial process solutions company Andritz and enzyme developer Novozymes. The group is committed to making transportation fuel from agricultural waste, energy crops and forest biomass.

The objective of G2BioChem is to produce cellulosic ethanol for less than $2.25 per gallon, and a capex for the first-in-kind commercial plant of $6 per gallon, reduced to $4 per gallon for subsequent plants.

The technology has received the support of a number of Federal and Ontario programs and agencies including Sustainable DEvelopment Technology Canada (SDTC), Innovation Development Fund (IDF), Sustainable Chemistry Alliance (SCA) and Center for Research & Development in the Bio-economy (CRIBE).

G2Biochem’s technology has successfully processed a variety of biomass feedstocks including agricultural residues (corn cobs, stover and bagasse), energy crops (sorghum and miscanthus) and woody biomass (poplar).

G2BioChem’s technology is feedstock agnostic and optimizes next-generation ethanol yields using all available sugars. Also, our process technology results in a low-cost-per-litre, which is essential to the viable commercialization of next-generation ethanol.

—Barry Wortzman

The G2BioChem process generates discrete, highly digestible streams of cellulose (C6 sugars) and hemi-cellulose (C5 sugars). At pilot scale, the company says it has reduced toxins by three-fold;, hydrolysis and fermentation time by half; and enzyme dosage by 20 times.

Other benefits of the process include:

  • 90% of overall incoming C5/C6 sugars are recovered after pre-treatment;
  • 85% of recovered C5/C6 sugars are hydrolyzed into fermentable monomers;
  • 89% of the monomers are converted to EtOH.
  • Total process (hydrolysis and fermentation) complete in 5 days or less with a yield of 316 L/DMT of cobs against a best-in-class of 346 L/DMT.

G2BioChem says it is ready to demonstrate and validate its technology on a pre-commercial, continuous scale. Construction for phase one of a demonstration plant is scheduled for this summer. The demo plant will have a capacity of 5 MT per day and has been designed so that it can be scaled up to 2000 MT per day.

The demonstration plant will be built in three phases:

  • Phase I. Pre-conditioning and pre-treatment will accept a variety of feedstocks including corn cobs, bagasse, agricultural grasses, and forestry products such as poplar and willow. This is the core of the G2BioChem process. At demonstration scale, the objective is to prove the commercial viability of producing clean, discrete streams of cellulose (containing C6 sugars) and hemi-cellulose (containing C5 sugars) under continuous process conditions. Pending the startup of Phase II, hydrolysis & fermentation will continue at pilot scale.

  • Phase II. The enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation stage will optimize the conversion of cellulose and hemi-cellulose into fermentable sugars for conversion into biofuels and chemicals. In this phase, collaborations with Novozymes (the world leader in enzyme development) and a number of leading innovators in the field of yeast and microbe development provides an important advantage.

  • Phase III. Distillation, evaporation, energy optimization, and waste stream handling round out this last phase. The demo plant will operate no differently than a full-scale industrial plant with water recycling, evaporation, and concentration of waste streams.

G2BioChem plans to license its technology by providing an end-to-end process which can be co-located with existing dry and wet mill ethanol plants. Licensees will pay an up-front licensing fee as well as a production based royalty. G2BioChem will provide ongoing technical and development support to its customers.



What? Does it means, that total cost including CAPEX is $8,25 galon. That is out of limits!!!


meanwhile methanol from coal or NG can be sold for about $0.50 to $0.80 a gallon, and make a profit.


A fully scale plant could produce about (2000 x 316 = 632000 L/day) or enough for about 50,000 average vehicle. About 48,000 such plants (consuming feed stock at the rate of about 96 million tons/day) would be required for USA. Can USA produce that much feed stock every day? Probaly not. Canada would require about 10% of that feedstock and could probably produce a very high percentage of it for a short time. However, both USA and Canada could use this process to produce 10% to 15% of our liquid fuel requirements. This percentage could be increased when vehicles are electrified.


Herm, trouble with methanol is toxicity. And the hollering from greens about fossil fuels. But you make a point - near term constriction of oil imports could result from domestic CTL. I rather think the more acceptable solution is renewable feedstocks like biomass and waste.

This outfit will have stiff ocmpetition from the DuPont cellulosic operation which is still targeting $1.00/g ethanol.


"96 million tons/day"

If they can produce 80 gallons per ton, that would make more than 7 billion gallons per day, the U.S. uses less than 400 million gallons of gasoline per day...check your math.


One dollar worth of feed stock and one dollar worth of capital cost makes one gallon of synthetic gasoline. It does not take an MBA to figure that if you make a gallon for $2 and sell it for $3 you will make money producing 1 million gallons per day.


The argument that biomass can not run all cars in the U.S. so forget it is absurd. We can make bio and synthetic fuels that blend perfectly with gasoline and diesel. Why should we continue to subsidize ethanol from corn grain when there are much better ways to reduce oil imports? Answer, the farm lobby.


SJC...I assumed that the average vehicle uses 10 L of liquid fuel per day and 240 million vehiclesces are in use in USA.


That would be more than 600 million gallons per day and the U.S. uses less than 400 million gallons of gasoline per day.

That does not explain the 96 million tons per day at 80 gallons per tone for 7 billion gallons per day. You are off by more than a factor of 10 on the high side of biomass required.


SJC, I stand to be corrected. Here is another way.

USA consumed an average of 12.9 million barrels (8.8 gasoline + 4.1 diesel fuel) per day in 2010. At about 200 L per barrel = 2,580 million L per day or about 686 million US gallons per day.

One ton can produce 316 L (as per figures give).

To produce 2580 million L per day would require 2,580,000,000/316 = 8.16 million tons of feed stock per day.

Minimum number of plants required = 8,160,000,000/632,000 = 12,911.

That is still a lot of plants and a lot of feed stock. An objective to produce 20% of requirements would be more easily attainable.


I never thought biomass could run all the cars, even 30% would be good, that would eliminate 3 million barrels of imported oil each day, about the amount we get from the middle east.

Even that might take more than one million tons per day which is why you locate the fuel plants near the biomass source then put the fuel in a pipeline. This would be a good additional source of revenue to the farmers so that we can phase out some of those farm subsidies.


I agree with you that some 4,000 full size plants, strategically located, could supply 30% of the local markets will cleaning up the environment of unwanted biomass.

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