January 11, 2012

Ethanol - Zeachem's highest margin product

Zeachem's 250,000 gal/year demo biorefinery
Why focus on ethanol? This has always been a question that lingers in my mind every time companies such Zeachem and even Gevo, LanzaTech and Amyris talk about their activity progress in the biofuel space.

Well, I bluntly asked this question to Zeachem CEO and president Jim Imbler, and his answer is just what the title says: "Given the subsidies for ethanol right now in the marketplace, this is our highest margin product."

Colorado-based Zeachem can now produce sugar-based acetic acid and ethyl acetate with the startup of the core operations at its 250,000 gal/year biorefinery facility in Boardman, Oregon. The intermediate chemicals can be used for applications including paint, lacquers and solvents, or the ethyl acetate can go through further processing (via hydrogenation) to manufacture ethanol at the back-end of the biorefinery.

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