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Edeniq and Global Bio-chem to develop and commercialize technology to convert corn stover to industrial sugars for fuels

Edeniq, Inc., a cellulosic sugar producer (earlier post), has signed a letter of intent with China-based Global Bio-chem Technology Group Company Limited to develop and to commercialize processes to convert corn stover to industrial sugars for use in the production of chemicals, fuels, and other bio-based products.

Pursuant to the letter of intent, Edeniq and Global Bio-chem intend to integrate their technologies in a commercial demonstration plant to produce 50,000 metric tons per year of industrial sugars from corn stover, and subsequently to form a joint venture to further develop and commercialize their technology platform. Global Bio-chem is currently working on modification of corn stover—leaves, stalks and cobs of corn—at its facility in the Jilin Province of China.

This relationship with Global Bio-chem will accelerate the scale-up and commercialization of our continuous sugars process and build upon years of technology development at our pilot facilities in California. We believe our joint venture will offer an industry-leading, low-cost technology platform to biochemical and biofuel producers in China, the United States, and elsewhere, enabling significant market growth for bio-based products.

—Brian Thome, President and CEO of Edeniq

Edeniq has developed a low-cost cellulosic sugars technology that combines patented mechanical and biological processes with innovative plant designs. Its key value proposition is the production of high-purity sugars at a $0.10 per pound all-in cost, inclusive of depreciation and return on capital, from non-food-based feedstock. This low price compares favorably to traditional corn and sugarcane-based sugars.

Key components of the process include feedstock processing; pretreatment equipment; solid-liquid separation; and enzyme compositions and applications. These components have been integrated in continuous processing, pilot-scale operations.

Edeniq says that its continuous process significantly reduces enzyme loading relative to batch processes. The purely mechanical pretreatment process also minimizes byproduct formation, thus reducing inhibitors and increasing sugar purity, which provides higher conversions from sugars into biofuels, biochemicals, and other bioproducts.

Edeniq currently sells or licenses its technologies to biorefineries in the United States and Brazil. Edeniq was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Visalia, California with locations in Omaha, Nebraska and São Paulo State, Brazil.

Global Bio-chem is principally engaged in the manufacture and sale, research and development of corn-based biochemical products in the People’s Republic of China. Headquartered in Hong Kong and with its production facilities based in various provinces in the PRC, Global Bio-chem is the largest vertically integrated corn-based biochemical product manufacturer in Asia and is one of the leading lysine players in the fermentation industry worldwide. The Group is one of the pioneers in applying corn starch as raw material for the commercial production of polyol chemicals.

The Group is a pioneer in using corn stalk as raw material for further downstream processing, and has been working on fully utilizing other corn residues as well. Our collaboration with Edeniq is to focus on enhancing our technology to significantly reduce the production costs of corn stover-based sugar, and to enable us to expand into a variety of bio- based products with such biomass as raw material.

—Xu Ziyi, Executive Director of Global Bio-chem

The collaboration between Global Bio-chem and Edeniq has gained support of the Jilin provincial government.




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