Negotiations with the Department of Energy (DOE) were completed and Phase 1 of the “Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts with AVAP (ABBA)” project has begun. The ABBA project will co-produce full replacement renewable jet fuel, gasoline, diesel and Bioplus® nanocellulose from woody biomass in an integrated biorefinery at AVAPCO’s site in Thomaston, Georgia.
The project aims to demonstrate that co-production of high volume commodity fuels and low volume, high value co-products enables profitable biorefineries at commercial scale. ABBA integrates the biorefinery value chain by converting wood to cellulose and cellulosic sugars, which are then converted to cellulosic biojet and nanocellulose. Patented technologies and intellectual property will be provided by AVAPCO, Byogy and Petron. Technology collaborators also include the Renewable Bioproducts Institute at Georgia Tech and the University of Tennessee,Knoxville.
The $3.7 million Phase 1 DOE award was made under the program “Project Definition for Pilot- and Demonstration-Scale Manufacturing of Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biopower”. Its scope includes definition engineering, permitting, and financing activities. Upon successful completion of Phase 1, the project is also eligible for a subsequent Phase 2 award of up to $45 million from the DOE for construction and operation of the project.
AVAPCO’s AVAP technology has been demonstrated at the Thomaston Biorefinery since 2012 for co-production of biomass-derived lignocellulosic sugars, cellulosic ethanol, cellulosic butanol, nanocellulose, and lignin. Petron will provide its innovative and proven Ethanol to Ethylene (ETE) conversion technology to demonstrate the conversion of cellulosic ethanol to ethylene. The Byogy “Alcohol To Jet” (ATJ) processing facility, which has been successfully proven under extensive full replacement fuel testing with the US Air Force and the FAA CLEEN program, has also been relocated to the Thomaston site as part of the project to convert the bio-ethylene to full replacement biofuels.
Collaborators also include Dr. Yulin Deng, International Academy of Wood Science Fellow, at the Renewable Bioproducts Institute at Georgia Tech and Dr. Art Ragauskas, Governor’s Chair in Biorefining, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, who will focus on developing high strength fibers from nanocellulose for textiles and automotive composite applications. This segment of the project is co-funded by P3Nano, a Public-Private Partnership to Advance Commercialization of Cellulosic Nanomaterials established by the USFS Forest Products Laboratory and the US Endowment for Forestry & Communities.
Theodora Retsina, CEO of AVAPCO comments, “Project ABBA is aligned with DOE’s goal to spur the creation of the domestic bio-industry by transforming our renewable biomass resources into commercially viable, liquid infrastructure compatible biofuels and bioproducts that replace the whole barrel and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. ABBA will promote GHG reduction through fueling transportation equipment with renewable fuels and light weighting them with Bioplus nanocellulose.”
“ABBA will not only help advance the ATJ ASTM specification, but will demonstrate that integrating the full supply chain of technologies enables the production of drop in renewable fuels and high value co-products in a wood based biorefinery which is profitable even at today’s cost of crude oil,” states Kevin Weiss, CEO of Byogy Renewables.
Yogendra Sarin, President & CEO at Petron Scientech Inc. adds, “Petron Scientech is very pleased to provide its efficient Ethanol to Ethylene conversion technology to fully support and help progress ABBA on the path to commercial production of renewable fuels. The learnings from the ABBA project will help advance the cost-effective production of renewable drop-in liquid transportation fuels.”
The three CEOs joined voices to express their gratitude to the DOE agency and staff for their vision and continued support of the national renewable industry.
About the Partners
AVAPCO LLC and its affiliates including American Process Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, are biorefinery technology companies focused on developing, demonstrating and scaling-up technologies for the production of biomass derived renewable materials, fuels and chemicals. The companies operate two demonstration biorefineries within the US- the Alpena Biorefinery in Alpena, MI and the Thomaston Biorefinery in Thomaston, GA.
Byogy Renewables Inc., is a biofuel technology provider headquartered in San Jose, California that, through an advanced ATJ platform, catalytically produces premium quality renewable jet fuel, renewable diesel, bio-naptha and bio-gasoline from any form of ethanol or butanol. Byogy’s fuels are direct, full replacement, renewable substitutes, not blending components, for petroleum-based fuels that offer increased fuel efficiencies, reduced engine maintenance, and a significantly greater reduction of greenhouse gases than most biofuels.
Petron Scientech Inc., headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, is a Technology development, Design & Engineering and Consulting company licensing technology for the conversion of renewable ethanol to bioEthylene and further conversion of Ethylene to various derivatives including bioEthylene Oxide, bioGlycols, and other chemicals used in a wide range of day-to-day renewable plastics. A majority of the world's current standalone Ethanol-to-Ethylene (ETE) plants run on Petron processes and Catalysts.