Edeniq and Flint Hills Resources Renewables Establish Joint Development Relationship
June 4, 2012
Edeniq, Inc., a biomaterials and sustainable fuels innovator, today said that Flint Hills Resources Renewables, LLC, a leading U.S. ethanol producer, will also become a customer in addition to an investor.
“Partnering is a core Edeniq value,” said Brian Thome, president and CEO of Edeniq, Inc. “We’ve been working side by side with Flint Hills Resources Renewables’ operators and the innovation team to ensure our solutions can be fully leveraged to increase the value and production capacity of their current 440 million gallons-per-year yield. This collaboration with Flint Hills Resources Renewables demonstrates our mission of accelerating low-cost cellulosic ethanol to market.”
Edeniq’s Cellunator™ enables plants to mill corn and other plant materials into small, uniform pieces of feedstock that easily can be converted into sugars needed to produce biofuels. Edeniq is installing Cellunators™ at the first of four Flint Hills plants. Edeniq’s OilPlus™ corn oil extraction process is also being deployed at one Flint Hills plant and plans call for two others. OilPlus™ combines mechanical and chemical treatments to improve corn oil recovery.
“This relationship will further our ability to maintain a position as an efficient biofuels refiner, while delivering a cost-effective sugar that can be turned into ethanol, or, in the future, other valuable fuels and chemicals, “ said Jeremy Bezdek, managing director of innovation for Flint Hills Resources. “We believe our work with Edeniq has the potential to create additional value for our customers, improve our ability to compete in the marketplace, and contribute to the long-term financial health of our Iowa operations.”
Flint Hills Resources Renewables expects further adoption of Edeniq equipment to provide bolt-on technologies needed to extract sugar from a wide range of cellulosic (non-food) feedstocks to create cellulosic ethanol. Flint Hills will also conduct commercial testing and scale-up of Edeniq’s Pathway™ platform. PathwayTM utilizes mechanical and enzymatic improvements to break down cellulosic materials, already part of the corn ethanol process, to further increase yield and produce cellulosic ethanol in existing infrastructure.
“This relationship is just beginning. Jointly, we are evaluating additional proprietary technologies that Edeniq has developed to further enhance existing plants’ processes and profitability,” Thome said.
Edeniq owns and operates a demonstration-scale production facility in Visalia, California to convert cellulosic feedstock into low-cost cellulosic sugars and cellulosic ethanol.
Edeniq recently announced the company has raised over $30 million in additional funding. The equity investment was led by existing investors, as well as new investor Flint Hills Resources Renewables, LLC. In association with the equity investment, Jeremy Bezdek has joined the board of directors of Edeniq.
Edeniq integrates patented mechanical and biological processes to efficiently and cost-effectively break down plant material into sugars that become sustainable fuels and/or industrial materials. Edeniq’s patent portfolio includes innovation in biological catalysts plus mechanical processes that helps meet the industry-wide challenge of taking today’s plant-based resources into future markets and applications. Headquartered in Visalia, Calif., with locations in Omaha, Neb., and the state of Sao Paolo in Brazil, Edeniq is funded by such leading investors as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Flint Hills Resources Renewables, The Westly Group and Cyrus Capital.
About Flint Hills Resources
Flint Hills Resources, LLC, through its subsidiaries, is a leading refining and chemicals company. Its subsidiaries market products such as gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, ethanol, biodiesel, olefins, polymers and intermediate chemicals, as well as base oils and asphalt. Flint Hills Resources operates ethanol plants in Fairbank, Iowa Falls, Menlo and Shell Rock, Iowa. The plants have a combined annual capacity of 440 million gallons of ethanol. Flint Hills Resources, a leading producer of transportation fuels in the Upper Midwest, is the largest purchaser of ethanol in Minnesota, where it has utilized ethanol and other biofuels in its fuel distribution system since the mid-’90s. The company also has made equity investments in bioenergy companies, and operates a biodiesel plant near Fort Worth.