ABW Drills into Advanced Biofuels

By Holly Jessen | July 15, 2010
Advanced biofuels, with an emphasis on those other than cellulosic ethanol, were featured in the one-day Advanced Biofuels Workshop co-located with the FEW and held, June 14. Michael McAdams, president of the Advanced Biofuels Association, called for better cooperation among those in the biofuels arena in order to meet the biofuel goals mandated by the U.S. in his keynote speech.

The industry should stop, step back and recognize what the first-generation ethanol industry has accomplished, said John Monks, business director for DSM. Many have a short attention span and have moved on from ethanol to other biofuels. There's no reason, he said, to discount ethanol. "There's a lot to be learned from that can-do attitude," he said. DSM, which started as a mining company, believes there are opportunities to retrofit existing corn-ethanol infrastructure to carry it forward into second-generation success. DSM has calculated that utilizing corn fiber as a cellulosic feedstock could yield an additional billion gallons. "It's not exactly a no brainer," Monks said. "There's going to have to be a lot of work, investment to get it done."

In addition to renewable diesel and biobutanol, drop-in biogasoline was discussed by Gary Luce, CEO of Terrabon LLC. The company is partnering with Waste Management and Valero to produce a drop in biofuel that can be used with existing infrastructure. The company's current focus is on municipal solid waste, but will eventually move to also investigating multiple energy crops as well as algae.