Alabama technology firm ends deal for exclusive licensing rights

Alabama technology firm ends deal for exclusive licensing rights

Tuscaloosa, Alabama-based Inventure Renewables Inc., a subsidiary of Singapore-based holding company Inventure International (Pte) Ltd., has ended its relationship with Alchimia Inc. for exclusive licensing rights to Inventure’s patented biodiesel and biomass process technologies in the western hemisphere.

“We’re really motivated for the rapid expansion the retention of our licensing rights will allow,” said John Brown, Inventure Renewables’ chief operating officer. “The extensive corn and soybean processing facilities in the United States will be obvious partners for Inventure, as our technologies will allow them to convert waste streams into revenue streams by turning low or no value biomass into carbon-neutral biofuels, biochemical and biomaterials. The same opportunities will be present in South America, where vast amounts of soybeans and sugarcane are processed.”

According to Inventure Renewables’ website, the company’s lipid and biomass conversion technologies are based on mixed supercritical fluids (MSCF) technology. For lipid conversion, materials such as soaps, oils high in free fatty acids, and glycerides are mixed with alcohol and/or water to form a reaction slurry, which enters the reaction vessel where, under supercritical conditions, the glycerides depolymerize into their basic acid form and are esterified. 

For biomass, Inventure’s MSCF technology breaks down cellulose biomass into glucose, fermentable polysaccharides, lignin and high-grade cellulose. Like the company’s conversion technology for lipids, raw biomass is mixed with water and alcohol to form a reaction slurry. No biomass drying or enzymes are required. Under supercritical conditions in the reaction vessel, the biomass begins to depolymerize into basic building block chemicals. The cellulose fibers and hemicellulose are isolated. The final product is a mixture that the company says is ready for use in a host of downstream operations.

Inventure Renewables has a pilot plant facility in Alabama that includes a 1-ton-per-day continuous reactor, multiple batch and continuously stirred tank reactor units, packed bed reactors, continuous chromatography separations and an analytical lab.

The company says its relationship with Alchimia was ended by mutual consent and it is now in negotiations with several leading agricultural processors and traditional biodiesel manufacturers.

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