Oxford Catalysts Group PLC, the leading catalyst innovator for clean fuels, is pleased to announce that it has signed a Strategic Alliance Agreement with Novus Energy, LLC, a Minneapolis-based renewable fuels company, to develop technology for the production of second-generation fuel-grade alcohols from organic wastes.
The Companies will pool their expertise and proprietary technologies to design and deploy on-site units for the processing of organic wastes into fuel-grade alcohols. Both Companies are currently working together under contract to design and build a pilot plant unit which will demonstrate the operation of the combined technologies during the first half of 2008.
The Alliance provides funding for Oxford Catalysts to further develop key steps of the process, and to design subsequent large-scale facilities. Once these plants come on stream, Oxford Catalysts will earn a royalty income based on sales revenue of fuel-grade alcohols from each unit.
Novus Energy has announced plans to roll out dozens of on site facilities in the US over a period of five years or so, designed to deliver clean, locally produced and supplied renewable fuels. Novus Energy is also planning to introduce the technology into Europe, where a similar number of facilities are also planned. According to the Strategic Alliance Agreement, Oxford Catalysts’ role in these plans is projected to generate revenues of up to £100,000 in 2008, rising to an average of up to $750,000 p.a. royalty income per facility (depending on the market price for fuel-grade alcohols at the time) once the full-scale on site units come on stream, with the first such unit expected in 2009-2010.
Fuel-grade alcohols can be made from specially grown crops, such as sugar cane and corn, but these first-generation bio-fuels consume significant amounts of water, land and energy in their production. Not only do they result in a limit reduction of carbon footprint, they also compete with food production leading to unfortunate consequences for food prices worldwide. In contrast, second-generation bio-fuels, such as those which will be produced by the Strategic Alliance, use organic waste instead, converting it on site into fuel-grade alcohols that are clean, green and truly sustainable.
Novus Energy's core product, fuel-grade ethanol, can be efficiently produced from the organic waste generated by a variety of food and agricultural processors, landfills and municipal wastewater treatment plants. Novel, patented, anaerobic bio-digester technology applied to the processing of the waste at such sites will produce large volumes of methane-rich biogas, which will then be converted into feedstock for Novus Energy’s novel, patented alcohol production technology.
Oxford Catalysts’ technology will provide key links between the biogas generation and the alcohol synthesis steps.
Roy Lipski, Chief Executive of Oxford Catalysts said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Novus Energy, who bring complementary technology and expertise to this exciting and innovative waste-to-energy alliance. Together we will address the rapidly growing need for truly renewable, clean, sustainable transport fuels, and share in the significant revenue potential which this opportunity presents.”
John Offerman, President and Chief Technology Officer of Novus Energy said: “In choosing a catalyst technology company to collaborate with us to develop the challenging core processes in our RGL (Renewable Gas-to-Liquid ™) technology, Novus Energy needed a partner that was both innovative and responsive to our specific needs. Oxford Catalysts, we found, was the only company that met those criteria. We look forward to a long and fruitful working relationship with them.”