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Flint Hills Using Edeniq Gear to Boost Ethanol Yields

Flint Hills Resources LLC, the unit of Koch Industries Inc. that invested in Edeniq Inc. last month, is using the company’s equipment at one of its four corn-based ethanol plants to boost production.

Flint Hills will test the company’s process for making cellulosic ethanol from non-food plant material, and may order additional “bolt-on technologies” to outfit its other three plants with similar capabilities, closely held Edeniq said today in a statement.

Edeniq, based in Visalia, California, is installing its Cellunator milling equipment, which will make more corn starch available for ethanol fermentation, at Flint Hills’ plant in Fairbank, Iowa. It also will provide systems for extracting oils that can be sold to biodiesel producers.

“With Cellunators, we typically see between three to five percent improvement in yield,” Brian Thome, Edeniq’s chief executive officer, said today by telephone. The corn oil “adds another high-value co-product to the revenue stream” in addition to cattle feed that plants typically produce, Thome said.

Flint Hills also operates plants in Iowa Falls, Menlo and Shell, Iowa, and its four facilities have a combined production capacity of 440 million gallons a year.

Edeniq earlier this year started up a cellulosic ethanol pilot plant at its headquarters that was partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The enzymes and mechanical equipment developed there will be tested by Flint Hills initially and may be sold to other U.S. ethanol producers beginning next year, Thome said.

His company plans to partner with Brazilian sugar cane ethanol producers to improve the yields of their facilities, with the first deal expected later this year, he said.

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