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G2 Biochem taking ethanol to the next level

GreenField Ethanol plans to make next generation ethanol a commercial reality with the launch of G2 Biochem.


May 9, 2011
by PLANT STAFF

TORONTO: GreenField Ethanol plans to make next generation ethanol a commercial reality with the launch of G2 Biochem, a collaboration involving international partners that will make transportation fuel from agricultural waste, energy crops and forest biomass.

Novozymes, a bioinnovator that develops enzymes in Denmark and Andritz , an Austrian manufacturer of large industrial equipment, is hooking up with Greenfield Ethanol, a Canadian ethanol producer with headquarters in Toronto, to commercial its cellulosic process technology.

Most current methods for converting plant fibres into cellulosic ethanol use harsh chemicals. GreenField describes its process as a simplified mechanical system that pre-treats the material to produce a non-toxic sugar solution yielding high ethanol concentrations using new fermentation techniques and enzyme technologies.

Greenfield said its technology has received support from 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).

So far the company has successfully processed a variety of biomass feedstocks including agricultural residues such as corn cobs, stover and bagasse, energy crops such as sorghum and miscanthus, and woody biomass from poplar trees.

“G2 BioChem’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,” said Barry Wortzman, president of G2 BioChem and vice-president of business development for GreenField Ethanol.

The Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA) has expressed its support of G2 BioChem.

“Advanced biofuels are a critical part of Canada’s energy future,” said Gordon Quaiattini, president of the CRFA. “They hold tremendous potential for jobs and the economy, the environment, and new supplies of energy.”

GreenField Ethanol produces 600 million litres a year of ethanol at its plants in Johnstown, Chatham and Tiverton, Ont. and Varennes, Que.