Pacific Ethanol Inc (NASDAQ:PEIX) will equip its biorefinery in Madera, California with an industrial-scale membrane system that separates water from ethanol in the plant's distillation system.
The US ethanol producer said last week it has signed a technology license and purchase agreement for the system with UK-based clean fuel membrane specialist Whitefox Technologies Ltd. Pacific Ethanol expects commercial operations with the new technology to start in the third quarter of 2016.
The contract comes after in May 2015 the companies announced the delivery of a stand-alone, container-based, membrane system to the Madera facility. The technology has since undergone a trial period where it has been found to reduce the consumption of water and energy and reduce emissions in the production of ethanol while increasing product output, according to the announcement.
"Whitefox’s technology is designed to increase operating efficiencies, lower production costs, and reduce the carbon intensity of ethanol produced at our Madera facility," said Pacific Ethanol's president and chief executive Neil Koehler.
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