TMO Renewables expands production of cellulosic ethanol with cassava stalk; cost projected to be less than $2/gallon
TMO Renewables, the developer of a novel thermophilic bacterium and process for converting biomass into fuel ethanol (earlier post), has advanced to demonstration scale on cassava stalk feedstock with major Chinese fuel and food producers. TMO is now processing an initial shipment of cassava stalk delivered from China, an inexpensive, abundant feedstock underutilized in cellulosic bioethanol. (Earlier post.)
Improved efficiencies at TMO’s 12,000 sq. ft. demonstration facility are projected to produce ethanol for less than two dollars per gallon, marking a crucial step toward commercialization.
TMO’s proprietary fermentation technology platform can break down a wide range of waste biomass into cellulosic ethanol, while reducing costs through savings in maintenance, production time and capital expenditures, including reduced enzyme loadings. Utilizing cassava stalk, TMO’s conversion process will yield 70 to 80 gallons of 2G ethanol per ton of feedstock.
The flexibility and cost benefits of TMO’s technology attracted Chinese partners to develop the first industrial-scale (30,000+ tons) cellulosic ethanol plants in China using cassava. At the demonstration plant, TMO will finalize process design using optimized energy and mass balances for cassava stalk at scale. The company will apply information derived from operating the demonstration facility to develop plans and process engineering designs to advance TMO’s solution to full commercial scale.