Join a discussion about the new Atlantic Biomass hemp to biofuel system that could reduce income risks for growers entering the fast-growing hemp industry. Learn more about how this system could also reduce feedstock and production costs for sustainable biofuels, including Sustainable Aviation fuels (SAF) and bioproducts.
Details of the technology as well as the potential financial advantages for hemp growers will be presented by:
- Dr. Jurgen Schwarz, Chair, Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences, University of Maryland Eastern Shore(UMES) and the Associate Dean for 1890 Research Programs
Dr.Schwarz earned a Ph.D from Cornell University in Food Science and Technology and a Diploma in Food Engineering from the University of Hohenheim, Germany. After completing his MS Studies, he gained industrial experience working for 3 years as Project Leader in Product and Process Development for a General Foods subsidiary in Germany. Prior to joining UMES in 2002, he was a faculty member of the Dept of Cereal and Food Sciences at North Dakota State University for 9 years. Dr. Schwarz taught several courses including Food Science, Food Chemistry, Food Safety, Food Processing, and Enzymes and Bioprocessing. His research is in the area of bioconversion of agricultural raw materials and by-products to value added chemicals and ingredients, as well as the upscale of promising technologies for value added processing, Dr. Schwarz was PI or Co-PI on numerous funded grant applications and author or co-author on over 30 publications in refereed journals.
- Fred Michel; Professor of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, the Ohio State University, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences
Dr. Michel’s group conducts research in three areas: 1. Composting, focused on the recycling of food scraps, yard trimmings and manure, understanding and mitigating the impacts of contaminants such as herbicides, plastics, and pathogens and understanding the effects of composts on the microbial ecology of soils and planting growing media , 2. Pretreatments to improve bioethanol production from corn and cellulosic feedstocks and biogas production during anaerobic digestion, 3. Bioprocessing for the extraction and purification of natural rubber and inulin from the roots of Taraxacum Kok SAghyz(TK) the Russian dandelion. He serves as the editor of Compost Science and Utilization journal, is a board member of the Organics Recycling Association of Ohio, serves on the USCC Persistent Herbicide Task Force, is the President of the Wayne County Sustainable Energy Network and is the Chair of the OSU Wooster Sustainability COmmittee. He teaches the Ohio Compost Operator Education Course, Solar Energy Systems and FABE courses related to biomass conversion. He has published more than 70 peer-reviewed scientific papers and in 2011 received the Rufus Chaney Award for Research Excellence from the USCC.
- Robert Kozak, Founder and President of Atlantic Biomass, LLC.
Atlantic Biomass, a biotech company that focuses on producing biofuel sugars from sustainable low-value biomass such as agricultural residues and perennial grasses. Atlantic Biomass develops bacterial-based enzymatic systems that overcome biomass recalcitrance. These systems significantly reduce processing time and increase yields of C-6 and C-5 sugars from hemicelluloses, pectin, and cellulose. He is the driving force behind the company’s scientific, commercial, and operational development. Mr. Kozak led his Peace Corp fisheries development group in Western Samoa and worked for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) and DC Dept. of Transportation on vehicle emission programs. As a consultant on air quality and transportation issues, his clients included the California Air Resources Board and the States of New Jersey and Connecticut. Mr. Kozak also lived in Mexico City while directing the technical side of an international air pollution control project.
4.Joanne Ivancic, Executive Director, Advanced Biofuels USA
Advanced Biofuels is a nonprofit educational organization which advocates for the understanding, development, and use of sustainable, renewable fuels in the US and around the world with an online library of more than 40,000 indexes of articles and monthly newsletters. Technology neutral, feedstock, process, and product agnostics, Ivancic’s work is respected around the world and the organization serves as a worldwide resource for everyone from opinion-leaders, decision-makers and legislators to industry professionals, investors, researchers, educators, students, and journalists. Ivancic has observed the development of the advanced biofuels research and financing for about 20years and has been voted one of the Top 100 People in Bioenergy by the BioFuel Digests readers and editors.
Joanne Ivancic, Executive Director, Advanced Biofuels USA introduced herself and said:
I’m executive director of advanced biofuels USA. It’s a nonprofit educational organization and we promote understanding, development and the use of advanced biofuels in the US and around the world. We have an online library of more than 40,000 indexed items including a section on hemp, and I will put the link to that in the chat box. In February we the way we got here was in February, I did a moving him forward presentation with me, Andy. And we talked about biofuels in general ways that hemp residues can be turned into biofuels and about some policy issues. And since there was so much interest in getting more specifics about that I asked this group to talk about one enzyme based on their work in the IT TAKES hemp and cannabis residues from the breeding and agronomy program that Dr. Jurgen Schwarz shorts will talk about at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. It uses crushing and conversion equipment being developed at The Ohio State University with Fred Michel, who will discuss that piece. And then it maximizes the enzymatic conversion technology developed at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, with Atlantik biomass and Bob Kozak will talk about that piece.
Dr. Jurgen Schwarz, Chair, Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences, University of Maryland Eastern Shore(UMES) introduced himself and said.
I’m from the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. We are at 90 Land Grant University in Maryland. And that’s historically black college and university. And if you don’t know much about the history of the 1890s and 1860 Jews, maybe that’s another session to talk about that. Anyway, our focus is to help small and underrepresented farmers in our region in Maryland, in 2019, the Maryland published pilot program for him, which allowed him to be grown for research purposes. And the requirement was to work together with institutions of higher education. That kind of brought us into the mix. After an initial hesitation, we quickly realized that this is a crop where a lot of farmers are so minority farmers were interested in and that there’s very little scientific information available. And so our plant breeder, our plant pathologist, our plant physiologist, and entomologist, were eager to take their respective discipline knowledge and apply it to this new crop where again, very little information is available. So early on farmers ordered seeds from out of state because everybody was so excited about it. And it turned out that they were full of diseases, viruses, root rocks, root rot, stem rot, and things like that. So we set out to help the farmers and told farmers who work with hay, we are not the extension agent, whom you can call up and we know all the answers, but we are willing to work with you and learn together with you. And so one thing we do is looking at varieties and the diseases and our plant breeder and plant pathologist, they use micropropagation to regenerate clean plant material, identifying all the different plants, diseases and pests. And so through that work, we had a Variety Trial last year in Maryland with over 40 varieties. We have a lot of students who are interested in that because no pay work on investment and is pretty sexy. So we had not only our agriculture students, but also business majors and computer science majors and so on. And they studied every detail of these different varieties. And we’ve been working with Bob on biofuel for different plants for a while and we say A Bob, you know, how do we just take a little bit of the flower and have all the biomass leftover, you know, maybe we can see if that works for biofuel.
Bob Kozak commented and said:
What you’re going to talk about in this truck kind of immediately lets you know, if you look at the plant, and you realize, you know, what, what, what the commercial production the money crop, as it were, is practice the bugs up here. And we’re looking at, well, what can we do with the rest of the leaves and the stocks in the stones, this has been our focus. And we took a look at this, and one. Biomass, how much of that plant could be used for could be used for biofuel production. And as you see from this chart, this is actually taking apart plants and weighing the individual parts from it, we can put an average of nearly 80% of the total biomass of the cannabis or hemp plants that we had there could be used for biofuel production. And if you look at the, you know, the amount of the tonnage that you’re getting per acre, this really adds up pretty fast. And so we are getting it potentially as a very dense biomass per acre crop. That makes a lot of sense to use as a biofuel source.
Fred Michel; Professor of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, the Ohio State University, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences introduced himself and said:
I’m in the Department of Food Ag and Biological Engineering here at Ohio State University in the College of Food, Ag and Environmental Sciences. And we’re on the western campus, which is really the Ag Experiment Station. And I started doing work. Back when I did a sabbatical at N ro for a year looking at pre-treatments for different types of feedstocks, cellulosic ethanol feedstocks, and those require some pretty intense chemical transformations before you can actually do the fermentations. To produce ethanol. Unlike where we get a lot of our ethanol, which is from corn, where you just basically use enzymes to digest the corn starch, and then do a fermentation to produce ethanol and to separate the ethanol from the other constituents. These types of lignocellulosic feedstocks require a pretreatment, which means a very high temperature, very expensive equipment, especially types of Hastelloy steel, which is very expensive to produce. And it contributes really the largest capital investment and these plants are one of the largest capital investments in the plant. And so we partnered with Bob a little bit to look at some other types of feedstocks that are cellulosic things like sugar beets. And look at how we could maybe use some enzymatic treatments to convert those and minimize or eliminate the pretreatment steps.
And it’s expensive and causes a lot of issues with this whole process. And recently, we did some work with a local firm called Cedar Valley Farms, which is a hemp producer. And they were looking at this very question at what can we do with these feedstock this 80% of the plant, which we aren’t using, and we looked at two areas, which I have expertise, and one is composting, which is really basically turning feedstocks into a media that you could use in a potting media as a growing sources of fertility source, and also in this bio conversion of these types of lignocellulosic feedstocks into ethanol through various treatments. So these are some of the products we can make. Once we get ethanol produced from these feedstocks and we’re trying to convert, you may be aware that these biomass consists of really three main things you heard, lignin is one of those cellulose is another. And cellulose is basically like starch with a different type of linkage. So it’s basically a big long chain of glucose molecules which ferment fairly easily. And then also a bunch of five carbon sugars in the Hemicellulose fraction. And these materials are different from others in that they have both Hemicellulose and cellulose carbohydrates that need to be fermented.
But some of these products include ethanol, you may or may not be aware that, you know, 10 to 15% of our fuels for cars and gasoline contains ethanol. And so it’s a very big industry today, and will likely be a larger fraction in the future as we’re doing things like with butanol and with other increases in the amount of this fuel that’s allowed in the gas mixtures. There’s also potential to produce other products like biochar polymers. And this is an example where they make bio polyethylene. This is something they do in Brazil. But that’s another potential use of this ethanol product, and then upgrading it to the use in a Jezza, jet fuel as well.
Residual Biomass and to make Biofuels out of It.
Bob Kozak shared a slide and explained. He said:
So we took we, as part of this work that we did last year, and this was done on a state of Maryland grant that they actually asked us, could we do something with the residual biomass and to make biofuels out of it. And this is where a lot of where this research came from. And we wanted to take a look at basically one thing is, how many gallons per acre could we get from the residue. And we used looked at this, we looked at low end hemp production, high end hemp production that we were seeing from the test crops in Maryland, and that the tons of residual biomass per acre range from roughly five tons to seven tons per acre, and the gallons of ethanol that could be produced out of that, from over 400 to around 540. The wholesale ethanol income is 20 gallon, nearly 900 to over $1,100. And then also in the last column, we have income for the hemp biomass. This would be if we set up an ethanol production facility, the hemp biomass, the residual biomass for looking at it, buying price from the growers $40 per ton. So income per tonne of this would range from about 200 to 280. And we’ll talk about this a little bit later. But the important way to look at this is that this is some additional income, or a fallback income. If you have trouble with it, you can look at this like well, if things go wrong, at least we can monetize the biomass and keep ourselves going down on the final row down there. Just to update what is corn starch produced for? Sure. This USDA number is 462 gallons per acre at the same price of 1000s. So the interesting thing that we saw is that there is a potential to produce about the same amount of ethanol per acre from the residual biomass as corn starch ethanol is currently producing, when you’re looking at it from a commercial standpoint, that starts saying this could make sense.
TKF (Root Crops produces Rubbers in the Roots)
Dr. Fred Michel said:
So we started, we’re also doing some work on a novel crop called TKF, which is a root crop, which produces rubber in the roots. And we’ve been developing, it’s a similar kind of situation where you have 10% of the root is rubber, which can be substituted for heavier rubber, which is coming from Southeast Asia, you may not be aware that most of our rubber comes from overseas. And we’re trying to develop a domestic source. But so we had the same issue with that crop: 10% of it is our product and 90% of it needs to be developed for other uses. And so we looked at the conversion of that crop’s root into ethanol, and we developed a process where we’re using this type of Pebble milling, and in the case of the root it allows us to separate into three fractions. One is the rubber fraction, which agglomerates The second is a liquid fraction, which contains most of the dissolved carbohydrates. And the third is of the gas fraction, we call it which is in most of the lignin, and under a non carbohydrate fraction of the organic matter left from the root. And so we decided to apply that same method we developed to this hemp problem. And the interesting thing that we discovered is that we could do this process and without pretreatment, we were able to get very high yield. So convert a large fraction of the biomass to fermentable sugars. And we’re talking about 8080 to 90% of those, which is unusual, usually that requires a pretreatment to get to those types of conversions. So the process starts with just the stalks, leaves and other materials and we’ve done different fractions of this in our experiments here, and then we just rotate this contactor with that material those balls you see in there just like you might have used when you were a kid to to make rocks smooth and that kind of thing, but it actually just beats the material to a pulp and creates a slurry a dark brown slurry of materials. We also introduce time into this process. So Cellulaze is hemicellulose and pectinase enzymes, which help to break down the material and dissolve it into soluble material. So it starts out as a solid, as you see on the left. And once it’s been processed for just a few hours, it turns into a liquid fraction, there’s still some fibrous material left, as you can see in that one.
So the next slide. What we end up with is a slurry like this: a liquid slurry, which contains both polymers of glucose and also just glucose itself, and also this hemicellulose fraction, which has been hydrolyzed to sugar for simple sugars. And we use a bacterial strain which we’ve gotten from USDA, which can ferment both of these simultaneously to ethanol. So we’re able to use both of the carbohydrate fractions and ferment those. And this just shows some of these fermentation experiments which we’ve conducted. So what this is showing is the, the sugars that we’ve got, after our process, our initial process, just creating the slurry, and then the different sugars that are released, glucose, galactic acid, xylose, and Aurobindo, so those are from the Hemicellulose fraction, and the ethanol yield that we obtained from those. And you can see that all three of those are converted. There are no residuals of those homies are the hemicellulose fractions. So we’re able to get a very high conversion from this process.
Bob Kozak commented and said:
Just wanted to talk, go back a second there. It was very interesting. And if you notice, if you notice the slurries, we did not filter those prior to fermentation. Those are just right out of those containers as you saw them. So you see all the way that we’ve been going through this process, we’ve been trying to reduce cost, as Fred said, we don’t have to have pre-treatment, which is a tremendous cost savings. And if we can get rid of any, any filtering at any point, we’re going to save even more money. So by doing that, it’s going to be a very low cost process. So let’s go back to what this means. What’s the economic equity income from this? How would it help out? Well, he said, with this growers would receive up to $280 an acre, pointing out that no matter what happens if the rest of your crop, this is money, and we were looking at what this means, I think an important way to look at this. And this is if you’re trying to grow your crop trying to grow the size of your farm, that could cover seed and nutrient costs. And for the in agricultural credit industry, this was they say provide sufficient sufficient de risk in the directly quarter place to show in cash cash flow to repay the loan so that we see this as very helpful for small growers, new growers, other people that are wanting to increase their acreage that this income would would help to get you there it de risking getting into that you don’t have to focus on your CBD costs coming out.
So we see this for the growers as a de-risking cost. The other thing that the notice at the bottom with the way THC regs are in many states, if you go over that sacred number, according to the federal regs are you have to destroy your crop or the crop cannot be taken off your farm with this process which we are looking at being portable, we could come on convert the biomass into this sugar slurry which meets the definition of not looking like the original plant that can be taken off and even if you had a hot crop or if you had some hot acreage that your things would not be a complete loss we could still help you out with some income. So that’s what we see from you know from the economic standpoint of if this has a real benefit and we think that will we think you know besides sitting in.
We can come in, if you have a high THC crop, we can come on farms to process it there, and you’re still getting income for it. So we see that getting into biofuels at a very basic level could help growers, get through the bad years, get through bad problems and give you a little extra income to get through, and then give you options if you want to. Become involved in the stream.
Gordon Soderberg asked a question:
- Could you also help the police out with destroying seized THC?
Bob Kozak replied and said:
Yes, good point. Very good point. The other thing is that this has the effect on biomass production, that it’s a lower feedstock cost than what we’re seeing right now. If you look at the pie chart on the left hand side, biomass costs for dedicated biofuel crops tend to be about 45%. Of your biofuel revenue. With the hemp residual, biomass, biomass costs could be driven down to 24% of your total revenue, this starts making the other things look better. And from a pure biofuel production standpoint, I think this could put hemp ethanol in a competitive position against oil, as well as other crops. And this is something that I know you go to a lot of biofuels seminars, everybody’s talking about the subsidies, the Renewable Fuel Standard, et cetera, I still look at it that we have to compete on price. And if we can compete on price without subsidies, that’s the way to start.
And going into this is, this is just a schematic right now. And so our next step that we want to get to is to develop the prototypes for this. But the way the system could work is that we would have what we call the farm portable hydrolysis units, that would go from farm to farm, and do that first step with the roller milling and the enzymes turning it into the slurry. And then that slurry would be transported, what we call the Add needed slurry transports would bring that back to a home where we would have the fermentation, distillation, and distribution either could go into Blender transport fuels, or jet fuel or just centralized hybrid. And we think versions of this could really help in some ways to work in this industry. Because Fred and I were talking about this the other day, it’s not going to be corn, where you have to go to Iowa or Ohio or Illinois and have 2030 1000s of contiguous acres of corn that can all feed into one centralized facility. I’d say at least for the next decade, a lot of hemp production is not going to be contiguous, it’s going to be distributed throughout states. And we have to be able to do that in an economic manner. We have to control transportation costs. And I think by separating the hydrolysis unit from the, from the fermentation unit, we can do that. The other thing is that a system like this would be good. If we discovered and we tested, it didn’t matter if the biomass that was put in the system came straight from harvest, or if it had been stored for several months. So we don’t have to do this as a, you know, day system. You know, so you don’t need as many, you don’t need that much.
You don’t need as much capacity for the portable hydrolysis units. You know, we have more than a week or two to do this, you know, we can spread out the conversion over months. And by doing so, we drive down the production costs. And I know you’re gonna have questions about this, we can get to those later. And I think we’re getting to the end here. And Fred, if you could summarize all this for us would be great.
Fred Michel added and said:
So some of the benefits that we see them make this may be competitive with corn ethanol or that we have very low biomass feedstock costs relative to growing corn. So our feedstock is essentially a byproduct of your hemp production already. We also have very good conversion of the cellulosic feedstock to sugars without the use of pretreatment or hydrolysis, which simplifies the process greatly and also the capital costs for trying to do this type of thing. There was some previous work done on hemp conversion at human Umes, which was able to use pretreatment and get about a 70% conversion. With this new process, we’ve been able to get conversions of greater than 80% Without pretreatment, which is pretty significant. And the other thing is that by the use of this bacteria, which can convert both glucose and five carbon sugars to ethanol, we can take advantage of all of the potential carbohydrates that are present in the material. So the benefits basically, this initial chemical, and treatment costs are much lower than you would have for other cellulosic feedstocks. For example, if you’re looking at corn stalks, or straw or other types of cellulosic feedstocks, and it eliminates these, the removal costs, when you do this sort of pretreatment, you also have secondary processes you need to do to neutralize the material that’s obtained after pretreatment. Whether it’s neutralizing acids or base amendments. And so it simplifies the process and makes it a path towards commercialization a little bit simpler than the typical cellulosic ethanol processes.
QUESTIONS/ANSWERS & COMMENTS
- Talk about a little bit is what’s the difference between different kinds of things that you can use to make fuel, renewable fuels? Like the different kinds of than all, you know, and what’s the difference? We’ve had some questions about diesel and biodiesel. So how are these how your I would say you could use the seeds, most likely to make biodiesel, but that biodiesel and ethanol of fuels and gasoline are very different
Bob Kozak said. This is an ethanol production system. Joanne just said, it’s not oil based and it doesn’t go through that oil based pathway into the diesel fuels. You know, it’s based on using the lowest cost or the lowest value of feedstock where the seeds have value. This doesn’t have value. And the thing that we liked about the hemp, or just the ethanol, the ethanol pathways, all the different things you can do with ethanol No, it makes a good feedstock for the sustainable aviation fuels is that followed. It’s a good polymer feedstock. And of course, it’s a motor fuel feedstock. I’m not denigrating anything about diesel or anything. It’s just it’s a different pathway. And right now, if you look at the market for ethanol as a renewable fuel, it is the biggest market in this country. And if you look at Brazil’s market, and with the building, the building market in Europe, it’s a big market, for instance, DOE points out that there’s roughly a million barrels a day of ethanol used in the United States. So this is a big industry. And those numbers have been that way since about 2008. So it’s a stable big industry. That’s a good thing to feed into. There’s yeah, there’s there. You know, it’s a market that runs well. It’s something that it’s not experimental. And I think that’s the other thing that we want to point out by doing this was we wanted to feed into a non experimental biofuel in the bio product industry. And we think ethanol is probably one of the best for that.
- A question about the $280, that you have there for the what you would pay for feedstock if you could talk a little bit more about that
Bob Kozak replied and said:
Okay, what that was based on, was in, it looks like we just pulled it out of the air that we did it, this is just a number that we’re working with. The 40. Renewable feedstock, where that came from is if you look at the switchgrass market, it’s about in the same range as that. And again, you know, this isn’t the thing to remember that you weren’t growing this for the residual biomass, you’re growing this for the CBD, the THC that’s coming off the top, this is something that, you know, we can help on the bottom. You know, I’m sure that we’re going to, there’s going to be discussions about their price. But, you know, I think, you know, it’ll be worked out in different ways. If you’re in a co-op. And the co op is running the ethanol plants, that isn’t really an issue, it’s you’re putting your residual biomass into ethanol production, and your income comes from selling ethanol
- What about your acreage? Is it a per ton price? Or is it just whatever you get off with that? Acre?
Bob Kozak replied and said:
It’s $40 per ton of dry biomass.
Ahmed Escosce commented about the presentation and he said:
One is that whenever you do these types of studies, it’s very interesting besides the mass balance and energy balance, because when you make a fuel, you put a certain amount of energy in to run your chemical process. And then that fuel makes some energy that you want to burn. And that energy balance is interesting to understand how much you know, is it a negative amount or a positive amount? Could you talk about that for a minute?
Fred Michel replied and said:
I guess I would start with you know, corn ethanol is a positive energy generation, you know, relative to gasoline and other fuel sources. In this situation, we’re not doing a pretreatment step. So we’re not using a very high temperature steam to create this sort of pretreatment, reaction and threat of high pressures. So we have less energy use for that step. We haven’t done a lifecycle or techno economic analysis, to that extent, to look at that energy balance. I think that’s something we should do in the future. But, you know, I think the other energy inputs would be for producing the enzymes that you’re using for transportation transporting these feedstocks to the central facility. And those aren’t going to be that different from your corn ethanol type of things that you’re doing. Transporting by truck versus maybe by train and truck for corn in real for corn. But yeah, so I guess we don’t know that answer to that question at this point. But I would say that it’s there. likely you’re going to be a an energy bone, you’re going to get increased amount of energy from this by the energy that you introduce, I don’t think it would be very, you could think of other uses where you could ever get that energy, you could take the material and just burn it, essentially, and use the heat energy to do some things with that. You could also do some things like producing compost from it, for example, which might not take much energy, and then you can use that as a fertility source to recycle that material on site. But I think that there has been a lot of work done on F corn ethanol. And I know work done by groups in Stanford and Berkeley have questioned some of this, some of that stuff. But most of the life cycle assessments that have been done by USDA have shown a positive benefits of corn ethanol,
And those studies account for everything from the tractors used to harvest the crop, to the care of the growing the food fed to the workers, to the produced production of the seed, everything. So sorry. That’s the kind of thing we could do in the future on this kind of study. And I think it would be important if when it comes to subsidies and those sorts of things that the federal government may offer for cellulosic ethanol, they are very interested in those balances. And they likely would not support things that didn’t show that kind of a positive.
Ahmed Escoce asked a question and said:
- I wanted to mention that the US Congress has been working on a bill for the sustainable aviation fuel act. And the goal in the United States is I think it’s by 2030, they would like to get upwards of 30% of the aviation fuel from renewable resources. And we stand kind of at this point, where could we sow a pathway for the hemp plant into a sustainable aviation fuel? But you know, there first, you have to make the hemp into ethanol, and then you have to add ethanol to jet fuel. And I think the research you’ve done so far is that first step. Is there anything that’s been planned to try to show that there’s a viable pathway from ethanol to jet fuel? And kind of what the rest of that process would look like?
Bob Kozak replied and said:
That we’ve been working with fair to Mass on ethanol to jet fuel using their process. And that’s our next step was when we started producing enough ethanol, we will be testing it in that process. We said we’re working with verta Nasaan. GVO has a process as well. But the one that we’re familiar with, is one from fair to mass. And as we go forward, we’ll be looking into that.
Vincent James added and said:
Looking at using the butanol as the surfactant. I’ve talked to the DOD and gone through our process. We’re using both the butanol and the hydrogen that we’re actually using. It’s our off gas to formulate to make the bio jet fuel. When I got out of the meeting, the amount of volume that the DoD wanted, I would need to build 30 factories. And it’s a good possibility that the potential is amazing, but you can do and if you look at him, I mean, it’s amazing that the cellulose content is 44.5% and hemicelluloses 32 point 78. If you can get past the initial costs of breaking down the sugars, which I’ve in our process are the patents that we have, as we step the whole hydrolysis process. And I can isolate both to see 65 sugars for our fermentation and put into a bioreactor. I have a bacteria that’s doing the AV the Wiseman process for converting both sugars into butanol, and it’s an incredible feedstock for what we’re looking at doing. The lignin percentage is 21% lignin and it’s going to toxify any of your broth that you’re fermenting. You can’t make people talk about making beer and I am like I said I made 35 micro breweries. And too, if you look at that, lignin is like the one you want to touch that we can actually separate the lignin into a separate stream in our process, not using any heat, chemicals pressures. And so we’ve taken out the petroleum on the process that we’re doing to make our biofuels and the lignin we can pick up and put through a boiler fuel as a fuel cell technology, which will actually power our facility power what we’re doing and put the extra power on the grid making green electricity. So hemp is just an ideal feedstock. We’re looking at hemp as a rotation crop. And because once you’re located and facility, you don’t want to drag around your equipment to all the different hemp farms. But if you have an agreement with your farmers, we have co ops looking at us right now to where we have a cycle of the hemp that’s going to be processed and a cycle of a hybrid corn that we’re using that was developed by the USDA that is high oleic. And the battle oils, the good oil and your diet, it has all the branched chain amino acids in the protein. So I can extract the protein as a protein isolate for human consumption. So it’s on par with egg whites. And the oil I extract. I don’t use any solvents chemical to those hexane propane or butane in my process, I’m using a mechanical process to extract it, it comes out pure, the molecules are intact. So the oils are, basically, very valuable. So you don’t want to mix that into your biodiesel formulation. So I’ll pick up the oil when we’re doing biodiesel using the butanol and another inferior oil for a fuel source. So it’s that the demand is huge right now.
Ahmed Shuja said:
One other thing I wanted to mention that you guys might want to address or talk about is that recently in 2022, the RPE had put out a broad agency announcement. And one of the topics that they’re looking at is the idea of the development of genetically modified enzymes. And it’s important to consider the potential of hemp as a biofuel. Because, for example, when you ferment the sugars to make ethanol, one of the byproducts is co2. And a lot of what we’re trying to do and increase sustainability is to remove co2 from the air. And there is research that’s going on where there are custom enzymes that now don’t give off the co2. So that would cut that 50% output a co2, and that’s one of the actively funded RPE projects. And there’s actually a company down the street for me that’s commercializing that, and near Oakland, California, they’re actually in Hayward, California. And this technology combined with, you know, the getting rid of the hydrolysis would help with the overall carbon footprint. Because right now, when you make bio ethanol, you’re spitting out some co2. Now maybe you guys could talk a little bit about your thoughts on that type of technology and how it may be applied.
Bob Kozak said:
I know, I saw that RPE thing. I’m not sure I believe it. The thing about the co2 that this produced, you do lots of stuff with it, you can capture it for production, you can, you know, there’s co2 to methanol processes if you really want to close the circuit. So we’re looking at it more if it makes more sense to capture it. And in fact, we’re, in fact, I was at the advanced biofuel leadership conference back in March. And there were two people from USDA, who were pushing, they said, to get our co2 Get our greenhouse gas. Better to bury it, you know, if you want to, if you want to follow that game of reducing your co2 output, there are other ways to do it. Like I said, I personally favor capturing it and using it for production of ethanol, or seeing what else you could do with it. That enzyme process that ARPA is proposing. It’s well, I’d like to see it work but I wish good luck on that.
- What are the impediments? Money is what makes this difficult to do.
I would like to add some ridiculously low THC limits and that’s one of the big things that’s run so many people out of the business.
- I have a question about the leftover residuals at the end of the process. Is there any potential of running that through some form of pyrolysis and then making charcoal out of it? And Ahmed Shuja, I saw a video with some of your thoughts on base charcoal some time ago, too. So is there anything left that could be used as fuel at the end of your process? With the residuals, once they’ve been beat to death father’s balls,
Bob Kozak replied and said:
there are some there. We go into phase two of this project, that’s something that we are going to be looking at. You know, I think I forget the numbers, I think it’s like a ton per acre or something leftover. And we’ve looked at different things with that, you know, pyrolysis is one approach. The other thing is just to burn it, and produce electricity to power your, you know, to power to power our equipment. So there’s, you know, there are some things that we are going to look at with that.
Commented and said:
Very good. Yeah, that’s, I think, and whenever it comes to biofuels, and hemp, biofuels make very little sense to begin with, as it takes x amount of calories to get X amount less calories, and your biofuel, but with him, you have a variety of other income streams you can attach to it. And I’d see that as the one thing that will take him and to the premier biofuel production crop in the world. I don’t think anything else can beat it. Even algae. So just my thoughts.
Ahmed Shuja commented and said:
I have one other quick thought and comment that I wanted to make. Because in California, I was doing research on what they’re doing with hemp, and cannabis. And a lot of a lot of times what happens is you have these depots in California where our transfer stations for this particular material, and people are paying to get, for example, spent biomass after say co2 extraction or ethanol extraction, they pay to get it picked up and then it goes to these depots. If you had a portable distributed system, would it make sense to put these types of units at one of those depots where people are paid to get the material there?
Bob Kozak agreed and said:
I agree completely. When we were discussing when we were diagram, you know, this is just, you know, one place when we get similar work, when we’re laying out a system like this with energy beats, of course, you know, there already, the fact that there already is collection points for the energy beats, you would just build that onto that. And this is something that we saw it was depending upon what’s going on in each state. If there is a collection point, there’d be no way it doesn’t make sense.
Ahmed Shuja said:
One of the issues that I was facing when I was trying to talk to these depot points. They have specific regulations that they have to follow like chain of custody when it comes to something with drug content. And a lot of times it almost ends up predicating that they have to like to incinerate the stuff and they were starting to research and Gaya was the company I was talking to in California GA ICA. They were looking at trying to make an More bedding and things like this, but I was pushing them like, hey, could we try out biofuels on site where we try to refine this stuff in the sale of bioethanol? So that’s just the thought that I had was why not try it where you where you’re aggregating because like in 2019 69,000 tons of hemp was disposed of. And I’m like, Well, let’s find where this hip went and try to process it at these transfer stations.
Vincent James commented and said:
Well, also the depot’s are actually looking to charge extra for biomass based on the fact that the THC content in it, which is why when we’re engineering our process, we want to make sure that we utilize the entire crop we take, we take the crop with THC, and I put that through the bioreactor, I actually break it down in terms of a the micron size, and then we process it, and the bacteria eats up all the sugars and converts it to butanol. The remaining sugars that we’re we’re, we’re seeing again, if you look at a barrel of oil, there’s 42% as gasoline 27% is diesel, you have your jet fuel, then there’s like 10% is making 6000 products. And what I see in our field, the Kent global Association’s goal is to make the equivalent 10,000 Different byproducts that we can make in terms of a bio based product from hemp. We’re making a protein isolate from grain, which is a patent process we have with the USDA, so it’s it’s on par with egg whites and mother’s milk, it’s it’s a true isolate the other sugars that we have coming up, I turn those into two bio plastics, poly lactic acid and poly hydroxide out tonight, that PHA is the one bio plastic that can actually break down in the ocean. The bacteria eats it up and it’s gone. So it’s an incredible bio plastic. And we’re not growing hemp just to make PHA for you the vertical integration in our process, we take out all the value added products that are coming off the whole plant and make a higher value product to sell to the market. So take bio based products that I’m looking at, that’s trying to compete with the petroleum industries, on products,
- What about using this process for other agricultural waste? Like corn stover or otherwise? Why did you go to this one? And what about those?
Well, I can speak to that a little bit. So when I did my work at Enrile, we looked at a bunch of different cellulosic feedstocks, including soybean straw, regular straw waste paper, we looked at corn stover and other other materials. And most of those require this sort of pretreatment, which we talked about earlier, which is expensive and requires some catalysts like acid or base. And Bob has been looking at some feedstocks that aren’t corn that aren’t as easy as corn, but still have a potential to be converted. And those include things like sugar beets, and this root crop that we were looking at. So for whatever reason, I think it may be because of the high cellulose content of this crop, we’re able to enzymatically convert the majority of the carbohydrates to fermentable sugars, whereas that’s more difficult with things like Stover wood or straw. And I can’t speak at the moment as to the reason for that. But this is what we’ve observed in the lab. So how could we apply this process to other feedstocks? I think we could do some of these other things that are a little less recalcitrant than things like wood or corn stover, so things like you know, like sugar beets or other things it may be useful for.
Vincent James said:
Our parent company is called the Community biorefinery. It was founded by Sammy Pierce which because he was a genius in the biofuels industry, he held the first patent on biodiesel from organics that was held by Sammy Pierce. If you look at the name biodiesel, Sammy was the one that trademarked the name biodiesel. And we’ve been looking at a variety of different feedstocks. When he called me, I kept selling Sammy. There’s a tremendous amount of waste in the agricultural industry, because he’s been looking at corn, rice, Stover, corn stover, we’ve done soybeans, I process, great promise that we’ve done citrus wastes. The USDA went around us to patent the limonene that were actually extracted from citrus wise, I was able to isolate and extract the resveratrol from great pumice. So when you talk about hemp, we are at its infancy, all research and development on this feedstock is what’s frozen when they banned it. And I think that there’s so much to this feedstock in terms of the phytochemicals or nutraceuticals or whatever you want to call it to the fact that these components can be isolated and utilize to enhance mankind to increase appetite that people know you get the munchies but you can also take a terpene will decrease your desire to eat there’s the decrease your desire for opiates, for cigarette consumption for alcohol, and we can go through and in the labs we can pinpointed an isolated, spray dried, put in a pill form and and you can go into your dispensary and as a nutraceutical, you can go and get that if you’re having issues with alcohol dependence with nicotine, it’s, there’s so much out there that we have an a huge opportunity for right now.
Bob Kozak replied and said:
I couldn’t agree. I couldn’t agree more. And I guess just to sort of close up here, what we’re trying to sort of do with our process, and commercialization of this is, is to keep it as simple as possible. And by keeping it as simple as possible, we can drive down the cost. You know, we don’t really want to get involved with all the complexities. I know a lot of people want to do that. And that’s great. What we’re trying to do on this is to be able to produce large quantities of ethanol at low costs. And then with the ethanol with ethanol, there’s so many pathways that can be utilized. That’s on for the next step. But you know, just to restate that, that we’re trying to come up with a low cost, simple process. And that’s sort of our focus on this.