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BlueFire rebrands, changes name

By Erin Voegele
Posted August 18, 2010, at 12:30 p.m. CST

BlueFire Ethanol Fuels Inc. has changed its name to BlueFire Renewables Inc. According to the company, the new name and rebranding more clearly illustrates its capability to produce a variety of biofuels, including ethanol, biodiesel, bio jet fuel and drop-in fuels. BlueFire Renewables will continue to trade under the ticker symbol BRFE.OB.

While BlueFire is focusing on ethanol production in the short-term, the company's President and CEO Arnold Klann noted that BlueFire's technology is ultimately a sugar production process. "What we do is take any type of cellulosic material and break it down into its constituent components using concentrated acid hydrolysis," he said, resulting in 5-carbon and 6-carbon sugars. Once the sugars are recovered from cellulosic feedstock by BlueFire's technology, they can be converted into a variety of fuels using third-party back-end technologies. "Our technology, because we have that intermediate step of pure sugars, can produce other chemicals besides just ethanol," Klann said. "That's what makes our technology unique and different from most others."

BlueFire is currently in the process of developing two facilities, a 3.9 MMgy plant in Lancaster, Calif., and a 19 MMgy plant in Fulton, Miss. According to Klann, the Fulton plant will be dedicated to cellulosic ethanol production. The California facility will also initially produce ethanol. "However, Lancaster was designed…to be able to add on other companies' technologies on the back-end to produce other fuels as a commercial demonstration project," Klann said. "Overtime, I see that [facility] evolving from ethanol production to biodiesel or some other product."

According to Klann, the flexibility offered by BlueFire's technology is advantageous. "Because our technology is a sugar producer for all intents and purposes-a cellulosic sugar producer-we can adapt very quickly to the marketplace," he said. "It really reduces the risks of the company…because we have the adaptability to go into other markets and other products."

While the U.S. has a strong market demand for ethanol, that is not the case in many other parts of the world. "With our ability to produce other fuels, it opens up the worldwide market for us," Klann said. "It allows us to build plants in other countries and supply products that would work in their existing fuel infrastructure."
 

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