Technology, design firms partner to build modular ethanol plants

By Erin Voegele
Posted October 28, 2009, at 10:15 a.m. CST

New Jersey-based ChemPro Group LLC recently announced the formation of an alliance with Missouri-based Mo-Fuel (Rural Bio-waste) to commercialize a patented feedstock-flexible cellulosic ethanol process.

Ted Lewis, president of Mo-Fuel and owner and holder of the technology's patent rights, said the process is unique. "According to an independent study done by the [U.S. DOE], the process has the potential for considerable economic savings, as well as reducing the U.S.'s dependence of foreign oil."

According to ChemPro, Mo-Fuel's technology is a continuous catalytic hydrolysis process that lends itself to modular construction. "ChemPro's modular expertise makes the company an ideal partner for designing and building the units," Lewis said.

The next step for the two companies will be to build a mobile feedstock testing unit which will be used to generate process data from various types of cellulosic feedstock. The testing unit is expected to be operational in early 2010.

ChemPro has experience in designing and building modular ethanol production plants, while Mo-Fuel is the energy division of Menaje Negocios Corp., which has been involved in the design and operation of alcohol fuel systems since 1972.

Representatives of ChemPro and Mo-Fuel could not be reached for further comment on the project.