CelloFuel modules cost-effectively produce ethanol from sweet sorghum and sugarcane while at the same time ensiling sweet sorghum and sugarcane so it can be fed to livestock (cattle, sheep and goats) year-round. CelloFuel modules use patent-pending infusion technology to produce ethanol by infusing the CelloFuel reagent into sweet sorghum and sugarcane stalks and then fermenting the stalks in an anaerobic environment. The ethanol is then extracted by crushing the stalks and distilling the juice, and the bagasse is fed to livestock after most ethanol is removed. The bagasse has sufficient ethanol remaining after crushing to improve the appetite and weight gain of livestock (similar to feeding beer to Kobe/Wagyu cattle).
The average farm size in India is about 1 hectare (100 m x 100 m) and farms in Mexico and China are similarly small. This gives very little pricing power to the small farmer, who has to accept whatever price is offered by the owner of the nearby sugar plant. The CelloFuel solution is affordable by small farmers, and gives a larger profit to the farmer than selling his crop to a bigger plant. The small farmer makes a profit by making drinking alcohol (40%), and gets value by having silage for livestock year round, especially in the dry season.
About 35% of the conventional cost of extracting sugar from sweet sorghum or sugarcane is the cost of crushing the stalks. The CelloFuel method is a much less expensive way to get the sugar from the stalks while simultaneously fermenting these sugars to ethanol. The CelloFuel reagent reduces the energy needed to crush the stalks.
The initial CelloFuel Infusion Mechanism is targeted to cost less than $300 for a 1 ton/hr infusion capacity. It produces infused stalks that can be ensiled up to a year, and later crushed to remove ethanol and produce silage for livestock.
Made first presentation of our vacuum infusion technology at Graintek 2015 in Moscow.
Presented at BIOMASS: Fuel & Power, April 6-7 in Moscow.
Presented at World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology, April 17-20 in San Diego, CA.
Technical meeting with Beijing Sangliang Technology Development Center in Beijing July 7-8, 2016 (Chinese version)
Signed Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation with Beijing Sangliang Technology Development Center (Chinese version)
Cooperation agreement for testing with sweet sorghum at Delta BioRenewables in Memphis, Tennessee
Tested latest CelloFuel infusion Mechanism with sweet sorghum and fermentation was successful and softening of stalks was also successful
Field Testing of CelloFuel Infusion Module with 15 ft (5 m) sweet sorghum stalks was successful
Design of lower cost CelloFuel Infusion Mechanism in progress
Procuring 1 ton of sugar beets week of February 6 for testing at lab in Minneapolis
Technical design meeting for sugar beet processing in Moscow, February 9-10
CelloFuel modules cost-effectively convert sugar-rich biomass to ethanol near the harvest site. Our initial focus is on sweet sorghum and sugarcane. Crops are harvested as usual, but can be kept on the farm for conversion to ethanol and used year-round for animal feed.
Most sugar-rich biomass needs to be processed quickly after harvest to prevent spoilage, but this results in equipment not being used year-round. The CelloFuel modules immediately infuse the CelloFuel reagent into sugar-rich biomass, and the resulting fermentation allows the stalks to be stored without degradation for up to a year. This allows efficient year-round production of ethanol and year-round use to feed livestock.
One of the major costs of producing ethanol from biomass is the cost of transporting the biomass to the biorefinery. Biomass has low bulk density and is costly to transport. Conversion to ethanol on the farm is an efficient way to reduce transportation costs.
Sugar-rich biomass begins to spoil immediately after harvest because microorganisms are attracted to sugar and because the biomass breathes (respires). Because the CelloFuel modules quickly convert sugar-rich biomass to ethanol-rich biomass, problems of spoilage are reduced.
Sweet sorghum and sugarcane bagasse is commonly used as livestock feed in many parts of the world, especially northern China and western India. Sweet sorghum grows in saline (salty) soils where most other crops can't grow, and survives with less rainfall than other crops because of its deep root system.
The nutritional value of sweet sorghum grain is comparable to maize (corn) when fed to pigs and chickens, and the fat from sorghum-fed pigs is whiter than that from maize-fed pigs. Low-tannin varieties of sweet sorghum are needed for palatability of the grain.
Many studies show that milk quality is improved by feeding dairy cows a diet enriched in ethanol and acetic acid. More milk is also produced. Feed enriched by ethanol and acetic acid also improves the quality meat produced from cattle, sheep and goats.
CelloFuel modules use patented technologies protected by U.S. Patent No. 9,194,012, U.S. Patent No. 9,499,839, and patent-pending technologies in U.S. Patent App. No. 15/424,843 titled "Method for Fermenting Stalks of the Poaceae Family".
CelloFuel modules can produce ethanol from most sugar-rich biomass, including sweet sorghum, sugarcane and sugar beets.
CelloFuel modules can be transported close to harvest sites where sugar-rich biomass is collected and processed. Everything necessary for infusing a harvest of 10 hectares of sweet sorghum (70 tons/hectare processed at 1 ton/hr) can be transported in a small truck.
The CelloFuel Infusion Mechanism runs on a small gasoline motor for power, about the size of a lawn-mower motor. This allows operation of CelloFuel modules in remote locations without utility power or diesel generators.
CelloFuel modules require about 100 L of water per ton of sweet sorghum or sugarcane.
CelloFuel modules are loaded with biomass at the harvest site. After fermentation and subsequent crushing to remove the ethanol, the remainder is used as feed for livestock.