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New Energy Blue acquires Inbicon’s low-carbon fuel technology

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Energy Global,

NewEnergyBlue have acquired exclusive rights to Inbicon bio-conversion technology throughout the Americas, and will first employ it to turn North Dakota wheat straw into a carbon-neutral automotive fuel. The technology license was purchased from Ørsted, a Danish green-energy company. Ørsted developed the technology over 15 years at a cost exceeding US$200 million, proving efficacy and commercial operation at its refinery in Kalundborg for nearly 5 of those years.

“A number of our executives worked with Ørsted developing this technology,” says Thomas Corle, CEO of NewEnergyBlue. “Our engineers continued to optimise the process of the refineries we’re designing today.”

The company intends to build a series of biomass refineries across grain belts and sugar-growing regions to process agricultural residues like wheat straw, cornstalks, and sugar bagasse, converting them into ethanol that is more than 100% below the carbon baseline of grain ethanol – more than 140% below gasoline.

“Our plan is to feed fuel markets in states like California and countries who likewise battle carbon pollution with policies that incentivise low-carbon biofuels made from agricultural residues,” Corle said.

But counting carbon isn’t the only way of keeping score. “Using Inbicon technology at the core of our refinery gives a clean process – no acid or high ammonia used.”

The company’s refinery prefers high-pressure steam followed by an enzyme bath to break down the biomass fibres into sugars and lignin that are valuable for making liquid and solid biofuels.

“Instead of using fresh water,” Corle added, “our enclosed-loop design recycles the water from the biomass – about 15% moisture – which can produce a surplus of clean water for uses like irrigation.”

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