NexSteppe demonstrates dedicated biomass crops at commercial scale

NexSteppe, a producer of sustainable feedstock solutions for the bio-based industries, sold more than 10,000 hectares (25,000 acres) of its Palo Alto biomass sorghums in Brazil this past growing season, compared to just over 1,000 hectares in the previous year.

Just as many of the leaders of the bio-based economy have begun proving their conversion technologies at commercial scale, NexSteppe says it has now demonstrated a scalable, reliable, cost-effective, high-quality feedstock to supply these industries.

'As various sectors of the bioeconomy achieve commercial scale, it is clear that dedicated crops optimised for these end uses are critical for enabling these industries to achieve their potential, both in terms of size and sustainability,' says NexSteppe CEO Anna Rath. 'Wastes and residues will never be enough. Our Palo Alto biomass sorghums can provide the backbone of bankable projects and catalyse the continued growth of these industries.'

At yields of 20-25 dry tonnes per hectare, 10,000 hectares of NexSteppe's Palo Alto biomass sorghum can provide 200,000-250,000 dry tonnes of biomass. This amount of biomass can generate 120,000-300,000MWh of biomass power depending on conversion efficiency.

This is also the amount of biomass required for one year of operation in the first commercial scale cellulosic biofuels facilities recently completed or under development by Chemtex, GranBio, Abengoa, Poet/DSM, DuPont and Raizen among others.

This is the first time dedicated biomass crops have been demonstrated at this scale in such a short time frame and in the absence of a government policy program funding their planting.

Being a drop-in feedstock alongside sugarcane bagasse for Brazil's existing biomass power industry has allowed Palo Alto biomass sorghums to scale-up rapidly to meet growing demand for biomass. Now the breeding improvement, management practices and supply chain know-how that have been developed through this use can be brought to newer sectors of the bioeconomy that require significant investments and a proven, bankable feedstock like Palo Alto biomass sorghum.


SOURCE: NexSteppe

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