PROESA™ TECHNOLOGY: Break-through Technology for Producing Advanced Bio-Fuels and Renewable Chemicals from Cellulosic Biomass
Wednesday, April 30, 2014: 8:25 AM
Grand Ballroom A-C, lobby level (Hilton Clearwater Beach)
Kevin Gray, BetaRenewables, Wilmington, NC
Since 2006 Biochemtex has invested approximately $200 million in the development of the PROESA™ technology. The process is designed to provide low-cost, high quality second generation sugars readily convertible into bio-fuels and/or bio-chemicals. PROESA™ integrates an energy efficient, chemical-free biomass pretreatment operation and a novel viscosity reduction and enzymatic hydrolysis step.  The unique configuration ensures limited formation of degradation products that could lower yield and inhibit (bio)catalyst performance. One of the features of PROESA™ is the opportunity to process a number of different biomass types ranging from energy crops, agricultural residues, woody biomass, and industrial by-products, without the necessity to change hardware.  Biochemtex has engineered and constructed a 1 dry ton/day biomass processing pilot facility in Rivalta, Italy integrating all unit operations required to convert lignocellulosic biomass into fuels and/or chemicals.  BetaRenewables, a joint venture between Biochemtex, TPG and Novozymes, was formed in 2011 to license the PROESA™ technology for the production of fuels and chemicals.  BetaRenewables has partnerships with leading bioconversion companies, Genomatica, Codexis, and Gevo, to integrate PROESA™ with downstream processes to produce value-added chemicals. The PROESA™ technology is the basis for one of the world’s first commercial scale cellulosic ethanol plants located in Crescentino, Italy.  This plant is designed to produce approximately 20 million gallons of ethanol from a combination of agricultural residues and energy crops.  Construction of a second plant in Brazil is expected to be completed in Q1 2014 while a similar scale plant in North Carolina is expected to begin construction in Q1 2014.