SunEthanol and MBI International are collaborating to scale up a fermentation method for producing ethanol from nonfood agricultural feedstocks. The technique uses SunEthanol's Q-Microbe™, which digests and ferments cellulosic feedstocks to ethanol in a single step.
MBI is currently working on scaling up Michigan State University’s AFEX (ammonia fiber expansion), a biomass pretreatment technology. AFEX opens up biomass cell-wall structures, thereby increasing the effectiveness of digestion, according to the companies.
“We believe that AFEX-treated biomass could be an effective feedstock for our Q-microbe in producing cellulosic ethanol,” explains Sarad Parekh, vp of research and development at SunEthanol.