International technology Group ANDRITZ, through its U.S. subsidiary ANDRITZ Inc., is collaborating with ZeaChem Inc. on the production of cellulosic biofuels and bio-based chemicals by providing the technology for a continuous biomass pre-treatment pilot plant. ZeaChem is a developer of biorefineries for the conversion of renewable biomass into sustainable fuels and chemicals.
The partnership between the two organizations is the culmination of several years of cooperative work focused on the production of cellulosic biofuels. The ANDRITZ technology will be installed at ZeaChem’s new 250,000 gallons per year biorefining facility in Boardman, Oregon USA. ZeaChem is headquartered in Lakewood, CO USA.
The ANDRITZ technology will be used to convert various cellulosic feedstocks, including poplar trees and agricultural residues, into low-cost sugars. These cellulosic sugars will be used by ZeaChem to enable the production of sustainable and economical advanced biofuels and bio-based chemicals. Cellulosic ethanol production at the ZeaChem biorefinery will begin this year and the product portfolio of the biorefinery will be expanded for the production of bio-based jet and diesel fuels beginning in 2013.
The pilot plant system includes an ANDRITZ cooking reactor with continuous steam explosion technology. ANDRITZ filter press technology will be used to wash the steam-exploded biomass. These technologies are well-proven in other industrial processes and, through extensive R&D in liquid biofuels, have been modified by ANDRITZ to satisfy the requirements for ZeaChem’s process conditions.