CelloFuel Portable Biomass Refinery

CelloFuel modules cost-effectively produce ethanol from sugar beets, sugarcane and sweet sorghum. CelloFuel modules use patented infusion technology to produce ethanol by (1) infusing yeast and enzymes into into sugar-rich biomass, (2) fermenting inside the biomass, (3) extracting the ethanol using steam stripping and then (4) distilling the ethanol vapor to hydrous ethanol.

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CelloFuel Infusion Mechanism (Type I) completed testing

The CelloFuel ® Infusion Mechanism that processes sweet sorghum and sugar cane using the method described in U.S. Patent 9,631,209 has been tested and is ready for deployment. CelloFuel Portable Biomass Refinery

CelloFuel Infusion Mechaniem (Type II) beginning assembly

The CelloFuel ® Infusion Mechanism that processes sugar beets, sweet sorghum and sugar cane using the method described in U. S. Patent 9,499,839 is being assembled and will soon be ready for testing. It is made from DN500 HDPE pipe, slightly inclined on the ground, loaded with a front loader. It uses vacuum to increase bulk density, crush biomass and infuse yeast and enzymes.

Reduces the operating cost of extracting sugars

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.

Produces hydrous ethanol

The CelloFuel solution produces hydrous ethanol at 80% to 95% ABV, with an integrated low-cost distillation column. This can be used to produce potable ethanol, fuel for motors and fuel for cooking.

Patent Status (May 25, 2017)

  • Methods and systems for producing sugars from carbohydrate-rich substrates
  • Methods and systems for producing fermentation products from carbohydrate-rich substrates
  • Methods for fermenting carbohydrate-rich crops
    • US9499839 (USA) status: Granted
    • Submitted to EU, Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, India and Argentina patent offices
  • Method for fermenting stalks of the Poaceae family
    • US9631209 (USA) status: Granted
    • International Patent App. No. PCT/US17/16620 filed February 5, 2017
    • IN201717012771 filed with India Patent Office
    • Filed with EU, Russia, Brazil, China and Argentina patent offices

Converts sugar-rich biomass to ethanol near the harvest site

CelloFuel modules cost-effectively convert sugar-rich biomass to ethanol near the harvest site. Crops are harvested as usual, sugars are converted on the farm to hydrous ethanol, and then the remaining biomass is fed to animals or burned for energy after the ethanol is extracted.

Reduces transportation costs of biomass

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.

Reduces cost of capital to produce ethanol

The Cellufuel modules have a very low cost of capital per liter (or gallon) of ethanol produced per year.

Multiple feedstocks

CelloFuel modules can produce ethanol from most sugar-rich biomass, including sweet sorghum, sugarcane and sugar beets.

Transportable modules

CelloFuel modules can be transported close to harvest sites where sugar-rich biomass is collected and processed. There are two types of vacuum infusion mechanisms, the first using U.S. Patent 9,631,209 and the second using U.S. Patent 9,499,839 (These patents are granted or pending in a number of other countries.)

No biomass pretreatment required

Sugar beets are used directly after harvest, with no need to use water to clean them or knives to slice them. Sugarcane and sweet sorghum either use whole stalks (for the first type) or billets (for the second type). Leaves can either be left on the stalks or removed from the stalks.

Biomass handling

Biomass is loaded and unloaded two ways, the first using manual labor and the second using farm machinery like front loaders or backhoes. Different markets may favor the use of manual labor and lower cost of capital or may favor less labor and more mechanization.

Steam heat required

Heat for steam stripping and distillation is required, about 1.2 kWh of steam per liter of ethanol (15 pounds of steam per gallon of ethanol).

Electrical power required

A small amount of electrical power is needed to run vacuum pumps for infusion (the first type) or an electric motor for infusion (the second type). Electrical power is also needed for the fans used for air-cooling during distillation.

Water requirements

CelloFuel modules require about 100 L of water per ton of biomass.