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GEN News Highlights : Aug 26, 2008

SunEthanol and MBI to Scale Up Fermentation Process in Cellulose BioEthanol Production

MBI’s efforts with a biomass pretreatment technology will be coupled with SunEthanol’s fermentation product.

SunEthanol and MBI International are collaborating to scale up a fermentation method for producing ethanol from nonfood agricultural feedstocks. The technique uses SunEthanol's Q-Microbe™, which digests and ferments cellulosic feedstocks to ethanol in a single step.

MBI is currently working on scaling up Michigan State University’s AFEX (ammonia fiber expansion), a biomass pretreatment technology. AFEX opens up biomass cell-wall structures, thereby increasing the effectiveness of digestion, according to the companies.

“We believe that AFEX-treated biomass could be an effective feedstock for our Q-microbe in producing cellulosic ethanol,” explains Sarad Parekh, vp of research and development at SunEthanol.