Tuesday, April 08, 2008

IP at AE Biofuels for ethanol

Jessica Ebert writes in EthanolProducer:

The keystone of the AE Biofuels process consists of three pieces of intellectual property:

an enzyme that hydrolyzes starch,
a cellulosic enzyme complex and a piece of technology that integrates cellulosic ethanol production, and
a starch ethanol process.


Since AE Biofuels’ enzymes are produced in solid culture—from fungi growing on a solid substrate such as grain pellets—rather than liquid culture, which is the conventional method for making the enzymes used in ethanol production, optimizing the process involves finding the right fungus and its ideal growth substrate, and identifying the environmental conditions that favor enzyme production. “The advantage of this is that you get some very powerful enzymes but they’re crude enzymes,” Kearns explains. “We don’t have to purify them. We simply take the whole enzyme complex or the enzyme mush that comes out of our growth chambers and put it into the system.”

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