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Cobalt Technologies Hits Key Commercial Milestone with Pretreatment Process Demonstration
Date:3/7/2012

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., March 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Cobalt Technologies, a leading developer of next generation n-butanol, announced the achievement of major progress toward commercial scale by successfully demonstrating its biomass pretreatment process. Cobalt in cooperation with ANDRITZ, a globally leading supplier of technologies, equipment and plants for the pulp and paper industry, tested its dilute acid hydrolysis pretreatment process, the first step of Cobalt's process for converting sugars into n-butanol for use as a renewable chemical or fuel.

"Demonstrating our high-yield pretreatment process is a key milestone for Cobalt as we prove that our n-butanol technology will efficiently work at commercial scale and at an attractive low cost," said Bob Mayer, CEO of Cobalt Technologies. "This is a very exciting time at Cobalt as we continue our path to commercialization and deepen our relationships with key partners."

Cobalt conducted the testing in the ANDRITZ pulp and paper mill demonstration facility in Springfield, OH, which is specifically designed to validate new processes before commercial-scale implementation. Cobalt's dilute acid hydrolysis pretreatment process, which extracts sugars from ligno-cellulosic biomass, was validated on woody biomass, bagasse and agricultural residues.

"We have extensive experience and expertise in process know-how and technologies for biomass processing and were eager to work with Cobalt on this project," said Bertil Stromberg, vice president of biofuel for ANDRITZ.

Using ANDRITZ's proven pulp processing equipment, Cobalt tested its pre-treatment process on both a batch and continuous basis, proving both its flexibility and efficiency for potential customers. These runs, while processing up to 20 bone-dry tons of biomass per day, successfully extracted sugars from the biomass without the use of enzymes t
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