Bioenergy

TMO Renewables Wins $25 million US Bioethanol Plant Contract

Fifteen plants will be designed and built within five years, with construction expected to start on the first installation next year, TMO has announced.

The company’s TMO Process uses a unique bacterium to produce ethanol from cellulosic feed stocks such as those found in municipal waste. In the planned plants, this technology will be combined with Fiberight’s digestion and fractionation process, designed to generate a “clean fibre” stream.

“Replication of similar waste to ethanol bio-refineries, across all regions of the US and globally, can drive significant green job creation and community economic development,” said TMO’s CEO Hamish Curran.

“We look forward to working with Fiberight’s pioneering team to drive forward our joint plant development programme.”

TMO will gain an initial design fee as well as recurring annual revenue from each of the planned plants, with a total value that could top $25 million per year.

TMO Renewables Ltd claims to have built the UK’s first cellulosic ethanol process demonstration unit (PDU), in operation since 2008 using a high-temperature fermentation process that can utilise all sugars. The thermophile bacterium at the core of the process, TM242, was developed from a wild type found on a compost heap.

Fiberight has biorefinery operations in Iowa and Virginia. Its team focuses on transforming post-recycled municipal solid wastes and other organic feed stocks into next-generation renewable biofuels, with cellulosic ethanol as the core product, using a biochemical enzymatic route.