Allotrope, Axens and Sumitomo to study production of low carbon biofuel using woody biomass from forest thinning

Allotrope Partners LLC, Axens North America, and Sumitomo Corporation of Americas announced the signing of an agreement to develop a Joint Study for a commercial plant producing cellulosic bioethanol, utilizing the Axens Futurol™ process, produced from woody biomass through Allotrope Cellulosic Development Company LLC, a project development company based in the State of California.

The project will use feedstock based on local Californian forest thinning materials and agricultural residues. These feedstocks in part come from the waste generated in large forest fire prevention activities to reduce risk of wildfires that have become a critical challenge in California in recent years.  This project will produce a commercial grade bioethanol, while at the same time contributing to the reduction of carbon released into the atmosphere from the massive wildfires that have severely impacted the environment and residents in California.

The parties are committed to develop a first project then continue to expand their cellulosic ethanol footprint within California and to other locations all around North America, utilizing local woody biomass materials to supply low-carbon biofuels into the North American market.

"Allotrope is excited to continue its efforts to develop a series of advanced biofuels projects in California in partnership with Sumitomo and Axens," noted Marc Stuart, CEO of Allotrope Partners LLC.  "Axen's Futurol™  technology is ready for commercial scale roll out and Sumitomo will be a valuable partner across the entire project development process, from feedstock sourcing to the sale of final products into the markets."

Bioethanol is currently attracting attention in countries worldwide striving for carbon-neutral societies as a renewable energy source and as a feedstock for biofuels such as SAF*1 and bio-chemicals. Cellulosic bioethanol made from woody biomass is classified as "Advanced Bioethanol*2" by the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED) program and "Cellulosic Fuel" by the US EPA Renewable Fuel Standard, which has the potential to scale sustainably, and with low Carbon Intensity when compared to other fuels and blending components available on the market today.

"The commitment from the Allotrope and Sumitomo teams to deploy Axens Futurol™  technology at multiple US plants and to utilize a wide variety of woody biomass feedstocks is another great example that the low carbon marketplace values both the flexibility of the Futurol™ technology and Axens' significant technology de-risking achievements. We believe each organization brings complementary strengths to this relationship, and, together, we can make meaningful contributions to reduce the Carbon Intensity of the transportation sector, utilizing ethanol as a renewable energy carrier for gasoline blending and potentially SAF and bio-chemicals production," said Frédéric Balligand, Vice Pesident, Axens Renewables Product Line.

Accordingly, the three companies will be studying the possibility of an initial plant to produce about 60,000 tons of bioethanol derived from local feedstocks. The project shall consider carbon recycling initiatives that contribute to the realization of a decarbonized society, such as CCU*2 using carbon-neutral, biogenic CO2 generated naturally during bioethanol production, internal energy production, and effective utilization of residues from the fermentation process including Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) production.

"SCOA is pleased to partner with Axens and Allotrope in this landmark project and will contribute to this study by consolidating and applying the knowledge and skills of the Sumitomo Corporation Group acquired through various businesses. This includes the development and deployment of carbon-free energy using hydrogen, ammonia, and next-generation biomass, raw fuel gas, and by promoting the use of green chemicals to construct a circular economy," said Sandro Hasegawa, General Manager, SCOA EIIA.


News Category:

Other News Items