In nature, ruminant livestock use slow enzymatic digestive processes to break grass into glucose (sugar). In existing cellulosic ethanol laboratories, various experimental processes are being developed to mirror the natural process in order to release sugars which can be fermented to make ethanol fuel. Scientists have believed that it would take another 4–5 years for mass production to be commercially viable, though still dependent on subsidies.
Anagenesis Renewable Energy (ARE) has effectively solved the problem and is fully set to mass-produce cost-effective (2G) cellulosic ethanol today using a technique that breaks with the current need for filtering and centrifuging, and yields a plethora of valuable by-products. The distillation process is commercially viable without any subsidies, suitable and efficient for any kind of organic feedstock and agricultural waste. The very best results are achieved by using the Company’s own fast-growing, high cellulose, Anagenesis Trifolia tree*.
The resulting [Trifolia] ethanol is used in fuel blends, reducing carbon dioxide emission by up to 91% (E85) and to generate electricity, eliminating emissions altogether (100% clean; zero emissions).
*The production per acre is nearly 13 times that of corn and the positive energy ratio of 11.6, i.e. an energy output of up to 12.6 times the energy input.
Cellulosic ethanol is mainly composed of cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin. Corn stover, switchgrass, Miscanthus and woodchips are some of the more popular cellulosic materials for ethanol production. Cellulosic ethanol is chemically identical to ethanol from other sources, such as corn starch or sugar, but has the advantage that the lignocellulosic raw material is highly abundant and diverse. However, it differs in that it requires more extensive processing to make the sugar monomers available to the microorganisms that are typically used to produce ethanol by fermentation. The technology hitherto used to extract cellulosic ethanol (using enzymatic processes) is not financially viable without subsidies.
Fermenting sugars produce ethanol. The sugars can be derived from a variety of sources. In Brazil, sugar from sugarcane is the primary feedstock used by the huge Brazilian ethanol industry. In North America, the sugar is usually derived from the enzymatic hydrolysis (the conversion of starch to sugar) of starch contained in crops such as corn or wheat. The enzymatic hydrolysis of starch is a simple, and effective process. This well-developed process sets the baseline that other hydrolysis processes are measured against.
Albeit promising, existing corn and wheat-based ethanol production techniques suffer from various problems. The overwhelming majority of ethanol produced in the United States and European Union is derived from corn. To satisfy the targets set by both the United States and the European Union, production must increase substantially on the already vast increase of the last years. This will lead to even greater price increases in sensitive foodstuffs destined for human consumption.
While this is a major disadvantage in itself, the biggest disadvantage of corn is the low energy output referenced above. Corn-based ethanol can be harvested only once a year and requires huge storage facilities. The answer is large-scale production of cellulosic ethanol, which is non-existent in the United States and the European Union at present.
Cellulosic ethanol typically refers to ethanol produced from perennial prairie grasses, such as switchgrass, which are not used for human consumption and grown on land unfit for other crops. In short, any lignocellulosic material such as agricultural hardwood and softwood residues, can be an excellent source of sugars for ethanol production. The cellulose and hemicellulose components of these materials are essentially long, molecular chains of sugars. They are protected by lignin, which is the glue that holds all of this material together. The technological hurdles that are presented by the materials are:
- The separation of lignin from the cellulose and hemicellulose to make the material susceptible to hydrolysis.
- The hydrolysis of cellulose and hemicellulose occurs at different rates and over-reaction can degrade the sugars into materials that are not suitable for ethanol production.
- The hydrolysis of these materials produces a variety of sugars. Not all of these sugars are fermentable with the standard yeast that is used in the grain ethanol industry.
National Geographic (October 2007) estimates that cellulosic ethanol could replace up to 13 percent of the World’s oil consumption if an efficient way to turn cellulosic plant matter into ethanol can be developed. The only currently available cellulosic ethanol technology is not financially viable without subsidies or grants. Thus, there is no production of clean, zero emissions electricity derived from cellulosic ethanol. Anagenesis Renewable Energy (ARE)* has effectively solved the problem and is fully set to mass-produce cost-effective (2G) cellulosic ethanol today.
ENERGY REQUIRED & ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION:
Anagenesis Renewable Energy (ARE) intends to use part – approximately 4% – of the ethanol produced as Cogeneration fuel, whereby highly efficient gas turbines will be powered by ethanol to generate electricity for the refinery. The overwhelming majority – approximately 96% – of the generated electrical power will be sold to the national grid or local power provider. ARE’s unique system captures the excess heat generated by the electric generators and diverts it back towards the ethanol refinery minimizing any energy losses suffered by current systems and maximizing the energy efficiency of the Closed Loop System.
ACID HYDROLYSIS CONVERSION OF CELLULOSIC BIOMASS TO ETHANOL
Anagenesis Renewable Energy (ARE), part of the Anagenesis Group, is ready to deploy a unique patent pending, cost-efficient and financially viable system to extract large volumes of cellulosic ethanol from Anagenesis Trifolia trees.
ARE’s unique and patented distillation process combines fermentation, hydrolysis, a fusion of acids and the latest Information Technology (IT) advances. Anagenesis’ Cellulosic Ethanol System is highly efficient and inexpensive to operate as compared to enzymatic processes. The requisite constituents in our process are:
- Cellulosic feedstock (tree trunks, leaves, branches, etc)
- A specific combination of acids & catalytic solvents and
- A plentiful supply of heat and water.
Nothing goes to waste; the water can be reused again and again, the heat is recovered from electric Cogeneration and the residue is processed to yield a variety of valuable high-demand by-products used in industries ranging from food, health and medicine to agricultural. ARE’s system is inexpensive to run and financially viable even without subsidies. The fast turnaround method with low running production costs achieves an average energy output of nearly 13 times (equal to approximately 1,160% energy gain) the input in the production of cellulosic ethanol as opposed to a mere 1.3 times (equal to a 30% energy gain) in corn and other starch-based feedstocks.
The ARE pilot facility, currently under construction in Georgia (USA), will produce 15 million American gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year. This refinery has been designed to allow maximum flexibility whereby the production can be diverted to electric generation or to motor fuel production at the flick of a switch depending on specific demand and prevailing market prices. The system is flexible enough to produce cellulosic ethanol from any type of organic feedstock and agricultural waste. However, results are optimized by using the patent pending Anagenesis Trifolia trees due to their very high – 69% – cellulose content which is easily extractable. Final planning is currently taking place for the construction of a major facility producing 100 million American gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year in Greece. Plans are underway for a similar facility in Bulgaria and Russia while additional locations are being considered.
ARE’s unique and revolutionary system will demonstrate that commercial production of cellulosic ethanol and green e lectricity can be achieved in a financially viable and responsible manner, minimizing running costs and yielding substantial profits even if current subsidies are abolished.