Rentech merges with ClearFuels following acquisition

Rentech has acquired additional equity in ClearFuels Technology, and will now own a substantial majority of the equity of ClearFuels, with existing ClearFuels investors retaining a minority interest.

ClearFuels, a company developing advanced sustainable biorefineries that convert multiple mixed cellulosic biomass feedstocks into sustainable, high-value energy products, will be the surviving company once it and Rentech merge.

Rentech, a company that also provides clean energy, says the deal is expected to close within the next month and that the activities at ClearFuels should not be interrupted by the transaction.

Currently Rentech owns 25% of ClearFuels, a project development company with proprietary reformation technology for the gasification of biomass.

Under a previous agreement, Rentech assumed control of the two companies’ joint integrated bio-refinery project which is being funded in part by a $23 million (€15.7 million) grant from the US Department of Energy.

The grant is partially funding construction of a demonstration-scale ClearFuels biomass gasifier at Rentech’s Energy Technology Centre.

Upon completion late this year, the gasifier will be integrated with Rentech’s Product Demonstration Unit to produce certified renewable synthetic jet and diesel fuels from cellulosic biomass feedstocks.

With the current deal, Rentech will now be able to offer the market an integrated solution, based on the ClearFuels reformation technology, for the conversion of cellulosic biomass feedstocks such as bagasse and other virgin biomass into high-value energy products such as certified low-carbon renewable synthetic jet and diesel fuels.

These drop-in fuels are expected to qualify for renewable identification numbers (RINs) as cellulosic fuels and to command premium value for their low carbon and renewable attributes.

ClearFuels is also currently in negotiations with Hawaiian Electric Company for a long-term conditional off-take contract for renewable diesel for fuelling of a power generator to be produced at its proposed Hawaii project that would utilise the ClearFuels biomass gasification process and Rentech’s synthetic fuels technology to produce synthetic diesel fuel from bagasse.

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