Replacing fossil fuels with low-carbon solutions.
The Inbicon Biomass Refinery works most efficiently when it's integrated with other energy platforms, such as a CHP plant, a traditional grain-ethanol plant, or a coal-fired power station. Within these three basic configurations, you can choose among multiple options. We'll help you determine which technology platform aligns best with your specific project site and situation. And which options which will create the strongest, most successful business.
Integrating with coal-fired power plants.
At Kalundborg, the Inbicon Biomass Refinery is one of nine major companies that work together symbiotically. They utilize one another's residues and byproducts for commercial gain. The waste of one can become the energy supply or raw material for another, boosting both economic and environmental performance.
In North America, we can apply industrial symbiosis to the carbon-sensitive power industry by integrating a commercial-scale Inbicon Biomass Refinery (typically processing 1200 MT/day) with coal-fired power stations. The power station sends steam to the refinery to cook the straw or stover, breaking down the fibers for conversion into sugars, ethanol, and lignin. The lignin is sent to the power station to replace coal; the lignin is so clean (no salts or metals) it is used with no further treatment to co-burn with coal to generate greener electricity.
These exchanges cut energy and operating costs for the biomass refinery and can double the efficiency of the power plant. Both operations are replacing fossil fuels with a low-carbon solution.
Greenfield fossil-free energy parks.
One of our first North American projects, now in the FEED stage, uses an integration plan similar to the model above. But instead of an existing power station, a new power island is being built with a CHP unit that will integrate with the Inbicon Biomass Refinery. An anaerobic digester is also part of the technology platform. The refinery uses corn stalks as its feedstock. For the digester, the co-mixed feedstocks are a molasses syrup produced by the refinery and wet biomass from local dairies and a nearby municipality. Methane produced by the digester powers the CHP unit, producing enough power for the energy park—plus a substantial excess to sell back to the grid at a renewable premium. The lignin from the refinery will be sold to local power stations at a premium price over coal. The annual outputs produced onsite from the sugars and wet biomass alone will include 20+ million gallons of The New Ethanol and 45+ MW of green electricity. The lignin will replace about 170,000 tons of coal offsite each year.
Integrating with grain-ethanol plants.
Ethanol producers are discovering the synergies they gain when integrating Inbicon's 20 MMgy model with an existing 100 MMgy grain-ethanol plant. The Inbicon Biomass Refinery can produce enough lignin to generate all the steam and electricity needed for processing the biomass. Beyond that, it can produce enough extra thermal and electrical energy to offset the host plant's utility costs 50-100%, depending on its business model. This can lower GHG scores on the grain ethanol below those of Brazilian ethanol, while helping satisfy RFS2 goals by producing cellulosic ethanol.
Another synergy: the cellulosic biomass could be gathered from the same fields where the grain is harvested; the amount of acreage required for 20 MMgy cellulosic ethanol and 100 MMgy of grain ethanol is about the same. However, about a third of the cellulosic biomass will be left on the fields to replenish the soil for the next year's crop.
Meeting California's low-carbon fuel standard.
Leifmark is confident that Inbicon Biomass Refinery technology, integrated with existing grain-ethanol plants, can not just meet but exceed renewable fuel standards in California. We will continue working with political, industry, technical, and regulatory leaders to write the roadmap for building out 15 new biomass refineries that will feed the California market while replacing Brazilian ethanol exports.