TMO Renewables a leading technology provider for cellulosic biofuels production, recently announced the company 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 2G bioethanol. 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 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 total global capacity for 2G biofuels should reach more than 4 billion gallons by 2015," said Pavel Molchanov, energy analyst at Raymond James. "Crucial to even greater production of cellulosic ethanol is the availability of diverse feedstock options, and cassava stalk can play an important role in the Asian market.”
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.“With more and more countries seeking affordable fuels, abundant cassava stalk will play a vital role in expanding cellulosic biofuels production,” said TMO acting CEO Robert Parker. “TMO’s technology is primed to meet growing market demand by economically converting waste cassava stalk to bioethanol at commercial scale.”