Earth Biofuels signs LOI with Revolution Biorefining

By Ron Kotrba
Earth Biofuels Inc., a biodiesel distribution and production company with plans to break into the cellulosic ethanol arena, recently signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Revolution Biorefining LP to form a new company under the name Earth Revolution.

The new entity's intention is to commercialize Revolution Biorefining's unique biomass processing technology that bypasses the traditional pretreatment of cellulose materials for downstream fermentation, according to Robert Bickel, founder of Revolution Biorefining and inventor of the patent-pending design.

"It's a semi-mechanical process that falls into the category of almost being an ambient, supercritical, dynamic environment," Bickel said. Essentially the biomass is converted into a bioaerosol. "From there, you have the ability to do a lot of things from a catalytic standpoint," he told Biomass Magazine. The material is reduced to nano- and micro-scale particles, which for instance could eliminate the need for designer enzymes in pretreatment.

Conditions of the LOI with Revolution Biorefining include building a small commercial unit to process 20 tons of virtually any biomass feedstock per day.

Despite the fact that country music legend Willie Nelson has given up his seat on the Earth Biofuels board of directors, Bickel said Nelson is "still very much involved" with the company, which continues to distribute his BioWillie-branded biodiesel. Earth Biofuels CEO Tommy Johnson also recently left the company, Bickel said.