MBI, a US-based biotech company, has been granted a patent (patent no. 9,102,964) for its Afex biomass pre-treatment technology by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
The Afex technology enables energy producers to utilise the nearly 2 billion tonnes of biomass left on the fields annually after the harvest of crops such as corn, wheat, and rice and turn it into feedstock for cellulosic biofuels and animal feed.
The newly issued patent expands the Afex technology intellectual property portfolio, which Michigan State University (MSU) – and later MBI, who is commercialising the technology on behalf of MSU – have been developing since MSU Distinguished Professor Bruce Dale invented it in 2010.
The technology is currently in use at the MBI’s Lansing, Michigan, facility, where an Afex pilot plant recently broke the milestone of producing 500 batches, or 15 tonnes, of Afex pre-treated biomass.
Bobby Bringi, CEO of MBI, says the company is focused on advancing the technology from pilot to demonstration scale.
‘We aim to showcase its viability for both cattle feed and fuels application. Ultimately, our vision is to broadly share this technology to maximise its global societal benefits,’ Bringi explains.