BRYAN, Texas, Dec. 3, 2013 – Earth Energy Renewables, LLC (EER) announced today that it has successfully produced high yields of very pure, bio-based carboxylic acids from sustainable organic wastes such as food waste and other negative-cost wastes. EER produced these acids using its patented technology that converts any biodegradable material into valuable carboxylic acids by means of a non-sterile anaerobic fermentation and proprietary extraction process.
According to Chief Technology Officer Dr. Cesar B. Granda, this fermentation is similar to anaerobic digestion; however, the final products are carboxylic acids, which are the short-chain fatty acids such as propionic, butyric, valeric, caproic, heptanoic and octanoic acids rather than lower-value methane typically produced in anaerobic digestion.
EER is the first to sustainably extract these industrial acids from anaerobic digestion. The Company estimates that the acids are worth 15 times more than methane produced by conventional anaerobic digestion.
“Our simple process works with nature and readily produces very pure carboxylic acids using inexpensive separation techniques,” Dr. Granda said. “The acids have very low sulfur, nitrogen and metals content, which makes them of excellent quality for the chemical market or as chemical feedstocks for producing other valuable chemicals such as esters, alcohols, ketones, polyols and olefins, or for producing renewable gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. When compared to current production methods, our process has a significant cost advantage over conventional production dependent on petroleum-based feedstocks and is the best solution for eliminating food wastes and other wet organic materials from landfill disposal.”
The Company plans to expand its existing demonstration facility in Bryan, Texas, into a profitable small commercial plant for producing these natural acids. “Producing high-value natural chemicals will allow us to quickly achieve profitability at a smaller scale, lower investment and lower risk than biofuels,” Dr. Granda said. “This strategy allows us to proceed with a series of small, profitable increases in scale with low engineering risk as we move to larger facilities in the future.”
EER was formed in 2012 with the acquisition of the intellectual property, data and assets (including an operational demonstration plant) of Terrabon, Inc. Terrabon successfully developed a technology for producing renewable hydrocarbons with the carboxylic acids as intermediates produced from non-sterile fermentation of renewable feedstocks. This technology was originally developed at Texas A&M University.