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(12) INTERNATIONAL APPLICATION PUBLISHED UNDER THE PATENT COOPERATION TREATY (PCT)

(19) World Intellectual Property Organization International Bureau


(43) International Publication Date

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30 November 2006 (30.11.2006)


(51) International Patent Classification: Cl2P 3/00 (2006.01) Cl2P 7/08 (2006.01) Cl2P 5/02 (2006.01) Cl2P 7/64 (2006.01)

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(10) International Publication Number

WO 2006/127512 Al
(81) Designated States (unless otherwise indicated, for every kind of national protection available): AE, AG, AL, AM, AT, AU, AZ, BA, BB, BG, BR, BW, BY, BZ, CA, CH, CN, CO, CR, CU, CZ, DE, DK, DM, DZ, EC, EE, EG, ES, FI, GB, GD, GE, GH, GM, HR, HU, ill, IL, IN, IS, JP, KE, KG, KM, KN, KP, KR, KZ, LC, LK, LR, LS, LT, LU, LV, LY, MA, MD, MG, MK, MN, MW, MX, MZ, NA, NG, NI, NO, NZ, OM, PG, PH, PL, PT, RO, RU, SC, SD, SE, SG, SK, SL, SM, SY, TJ, TM, TN, TR, TT, TZ, UA, UG, US, UZ, VC, VN, YU, ZA, ZM, zw.
(84) Designated States (unless otherwise indicated, for every kind of regional protection available): ARIPO (BW, GH, GM, KE, LS, MW, MZ, NA, SD, SL, SZ, TZ, UG, ZM, ZW), Eurasian (AM, AZ, BY, KG, KZ, MD, RU, TJ, TM), European (AT, BE, BG, CH, CY, CZ, DE, DK, EE, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, HU, IE, IS, IT, LT, LU, LV, MC, NL, PL, PT, RO, SE, SI, SK, TR), OAPI (BF, BJ, CF, CG, CI, CM, GA, GN, GQ, GW, ML, MR, NE, SN, TD, TG).

(21) International Application Number: PCTIUS2006/019560 (22) International Filing Date: (25) Filing Language: (26) Publication Language:
(30) Priority Data:

22 May 2006 (22.05.2006) English English

60/683,041
(71) Applicant

20 May 2005 (20.05.2005)

US

(jor all designated States except US): CARGILL, INCORPORATED [USIUS]; Law DeptIMS 24, 15407 Mcginty Rd. w., Wayzata, Minnesota 55391 (US).

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(72) Inventors; and (75) Inventors/Applicants (for us only): EYAL, Aharon [lLllL]; 16 Levy Street, 93386 Jerusalem (IL). PURTLE, Ian, C. [USIUS]; 1280 Zircon Lane N., Plymouth, Minnesota 55447 (US). (74) Agents: TUROSKI, Christopher, M. et al.; Cargill, Incorporated, Law DeptIMS 24, P.O. Box 5624, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55440-5624 (US).

Published: with international search report before the expiration of the time limit for amending the claims and to be republished in the event of receipt of amendments For two-letter codes and other abbreviations, refer to the "Guidance Notes on Codes and Abbreviations " appearing at the beginning of each regular issue of the PCT Gazette.

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(54) Title: BIOFUEL PRODUCTION


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232

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M method also includes processing the first photosynthesis product to form a product mixture comprising a first biofuel and CO 2 ,
,.-..I The method also includes separating CO 2 from the product mixture. The method also includes growing biomass in a photosynthe-

(57) Abstract: A method for biofuel production is disclosed. The method includes providing a first photosynthesis product. The

\0 sis process, which biomass comprises a second photosynthesis product. The method also includes providing CO

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2 to the growing biomass, wherein at least part of the CO 2 is consumed in the photosynthesis process. The method also includes optionally harvesting the grown biomass.

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BIOFUEL PRODUCTION
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application claims priority to and incorporates by reference U.S. Patent Application No. 60/683041 titled "Biofuel Production and Sequestration
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System" filed May 20,2005. FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention generally relates to a biofuel production system. The present invention more particularly relates to a method for producing ethanol with reduced CO2 emissions to the atmosphere.

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BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION It is generally known to convert raw biological material (e.g. plants, cane sugar, wood pulp) to fuel (i.e. "biofuel") through fermentation. However, converting photosynthesis products to a biofuel typically forms CO2 as a coproduct, which decreases biofuel production yield and may increase CO 2

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emissions to the atmosphere. Accordingly, there is a need for a biofuel production method that provides for a relatively high yield of biofue!. There is also a need for a biofuel production method that reduces the availability of CO 2 to the atmosphere. It would be advantageous to provide a biofuel production system filling anyone or more of these needs or having other advantageous features.

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BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a method for biofuel production. The method includes providing a first photosynthesis product. The method also includes processing the first photosynthesis product to form a product mixture comprising a first biofuel and CO2 . The method also includes separating CO2 from

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the product mixture. The method also includes growing biomass in a photosynthesis process, which biomass comprises a second photosynthesis product. The method also includes providing CO2 to the growing biomass,

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wherein at least part of the CO2 is consumed in the photosynthesis process. The method also includes optionally harvesting the grown biomass. The present invention also relates to a method for the production of biofuel. The method includes providing a first photosynthesis product. The method also
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includes processing the first photosynthesis product to form a product mixture comprising a first biofuel and CO2 . The method also includes separating CO2 from the product mixture. The method also includes growing biomass in a photosynthesis process, which biomass comprises a second photosynthesis product. The method also includes providing CO2 from 0 the growing biomass,

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wherein at least part of the CO 2 is consumed in the photosynthesis process. The method also includes harvesting grown biomass. The method also includes processing at least part of the second photosynthesis product to form a product mixture comprising a second biofuel. The invention will now be described in connection with certain preferred

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and alternative embodiments with reference to the following illustrative figures so that it may be more fully understood. With specific reference now to the figures in detail, it is stressed that the particulars shown are by way of example and for purposes of illustrative discussion of the preferred embodiments of the present invention only and are

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presented in the cause of providing what is believed to be the most useful and readily understood description of the principles and conceptual aspects of the invention. In this regard, no attempt is made to show structural details of the invention in more detail than is necessary for a fundamental understanding of the invention, the description taken with the drawings making apparent to those skilled

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in the art how the several forms of the invention may be embodied in practice.

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BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS


FIGURE 1 is a flow diagram of biofuel production and CO2 sequestration according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. FIGURE 2 is a flow diagram of biofuel production and CO2 sequestration
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according to an alternative embodiment of the present invention. FIGURE 3 is a flow diagram of biofuel production and CO 2 sequestration according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED AND OTHER EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS


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An exemplary method of the present invention is described in the following with reference to figures. Referring generally to the figures, a plant material (e.g. corn) is processed to yield a first product (e.g. oil) and a second product (e.g. starch). The second product (e.g. starch) is fermented to yield a biofuel (e.g. ethanol). Fermentation creates a bi-product, specifically carbon dioxide (C02). In

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conventional systems, such CO2 is emitted to the atmosphere. According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, such bi-product CO2 is used in a photosynthesis process to create a carbon sink (e.g. algae) or natural environment that absorbs and stores CO 2 . Such carbon sink may be a biomass used as a fuel or energy source. According to a preferred embodiment of the

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invention, such biomass is used as a fermentation product to yield biofuel (e.g. ethanol). Referring to Figure 1,a schematic flow diagram of an embodiment of the invention is shown. A plant material 8 (e.g. corn) undergoes a processing step (operation 10) to yield a first product 12 (e.g. oil) and a fermentable product 14

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(e.g. a product that is capable of being fermented such as starch, carbohydrate, glucose, sucrose, etc.) Suitable plants for the fermentable product include starch ones, such as corn, wheat, potato and rice and sucrose crops such as sugar cane and sugar beet, lignocellulosics, etc. and plant materials such as various parts of the plant such as corn and wheat kernels, corn stalk, straw, etc. Known methods 3-

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and their combinations are suitable for the production of the fermentable, e.g. dry milling, of corn, wet milling of corn and combinations of those, wheat milling, starch hydrolysis and saccharification, processing of sugar cane, sugar beet, processing of lignocellulosics (e.g. via hydrolysis), processing of dairy products,
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etc. Also suitable are products of processing such plants, e.g. products of corn dry milling and corn wet milling, such as steeped corn, corn endosperm, corn or wheat starch, debranned corn or wheat, bran, fiber, orange peel, etc. Referring further to Figure 1, fermentable product 14 is fermented (operation 20) to yield a fermentation product 22 (e.g. ethanol-containing aqueous

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stream, lactic acid, formic acid, acetic acid, hydrogen, butanediol, etc.) and a fermentation byproduct 24 (e.g. CO 2), Fermentation product 22 and fermentation byproduct 24 (e.g. CO 2) are separated (operation 20). Fermentation product 22 (e.g. ethanol-containing aqueous stream) is further treated in a separation operation (30) to yield a biofuel32 (e.g. ethanol). Separation could use known

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means such as distillation. If desired, azeotropic ethanol formed by distillation is further dried, e.g. on molecular sieve. Referring further to Figure 1, fermentation byproduct 24 (e.g. CO 2) is provided, optionally along with additional CO 2 from other sources, such as atmospheric CO2 and CO2 from combustion (26), and/or irradiation (28) to a step

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of photosynthesis growth (operation 40). In the growth step, the CO 2 is sequestered and transformed into a carbon sink or biomass, rather than being emitted to the atmosphere. According to a preferred embodiment, the grown biomass is algal biomass, e.g. micro-algae or macro-algae. According to a preferred embodiment, the grown biomass is harvested and used, e.g. for feed.

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Thus, it is believed that the process of Figure 1 generates biofuel (e.g. ethanol), and possibly other products with less CO 2 emission compared to conventional ethanol-producing processes. Figure 2 is a schematic flow diagram of an alternative embodiment of the invention. In a photosynthesis process (140) a fermentable product which is also

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a biomass 142 (e.g. carbohydrate-containing algal biomass) is grown, for example 4-

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using C02 (126) and irradiation (128). The biomass 142 is haNested and processed (150), optionally together with another fermentable product or carbohydrate source, e.g. carbohydrate from a plant source (144), producing as one of the products a fermentable carbohydrate stream (152). The carbohydrate 5 stream 152 is fermented in operation (120). Fermentation results in a fermentation byproduct 124 (e.g. CO 2) and in a fermentation product 122 (e.g. ethanol-containing aqueous solution), which are separated (operation 120). The fermentation product 122 (ethanol-containing aqueous stream) is further treated in operation (130) to separate biofuel132 (e.g. ethanol). According to a preferred 10 embodiment, the fermentation byproduct 124 (e.g. C02) is also provided to the photosynthesis process of step (140) to be converted into biomass 142. According to a preferred embodiment, the biomass is an algal biomass and fermentation of the biomass is intracellular, e.g. dark fermentation. According to a preferred embodiment, the biomass is concentrated prior to dark fermentation in 15 order to generate a concentrated product. Optionally the biomass is reused after the dark fermentation to sequester more CO 2 and generate more carbohydrate. According to a preferred embodiment, the fermentation liquor produced during extracellular fermentation and/or intracellular fermentation to ethanol is treated for ethanol separation in operation (130) along with stream (122). 20 Figure 3 is a schematic flow diagram of a preferred embodiment of the invention. A fermentable product stream 214 (e.g. carbohydrate) from a plant source (208) and a fermentable product stream 252 (e.g. carbohydrate) from a carbon sink or biomass source (252) (e.g. algae) are provided and the fermentable products 214 and 252 are fermented in operation (220). The 25 fermentation results in a fermentation byproduct 224 (e.g. CO2) and in a fermentation product 222 (e.g. ethanol-containing aqueous solution), which are separated (operation 220). Fermentation product 222 (e.g. ethanol-containing aqueous stream) is further treated in operation (230) to separate biofuel 232 (e.g. ethanol). Separated fermentation byproduct 224 (e.g. CO2) is provided, optionally 30 along with additional CO2 from another source, e.g. atmospheric CO2 and product of combustion (226) (including flue gas), and with irradiation (228) to a step of 5-

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photosynthesis growth of a carbon sink or biomass 242 (e.g. carbohydratecontaining algal biomass) in operation 240). In the growth step, the CO2 is sequestered and transformed into biomass, rather than being emitted to the atmosphere. The grown algal biomass 242 is harvested and processed
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(operation 240), producing as one of the products a fermentable product (252) to be used in the fermentation (operation 220). Any carbohydrate-producing algae are suitable for the purpose of the present invention. Many algae convert in a photosynthesis process water and CO2 into starch. The starch is a storage carbohydrate and is stored in the algae in

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the form of granules. Those granules are similar in nature to those in starchy crops, such as corn. Biomass processing (operations 150 and 250 in Figures 2 and 3, respectively) may in.volve extraction of starch granules, optionally liberating it from cell membrane by sonication or solvent treatment. The starch granules are hydrolyzed chemically (acid catalyzed), enzymatically (e.g. using amylase and/or

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glucoamylase) or a combination of those to form a carbohydrate solution to be fermented. According to a preferred embodiment, processing of algal-biomassresulting starch is combined with processing of plant starch. In a particularly preferred embodiment, operation 10 or 210 involves processing of corn, wheat or another starch crop, which generates starch granules from the plant material and

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that starch is hydrolyzed along with algal starch granules to form the carbohydrate stream for fermentation. According to alternative embodiments, the biomass produced according to the present invention, e.g. algal biomass, can be processed to generate commercial products in addition to (or instead of) carbohydrate streams for

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fermentation to ethanol (and/or to other products). Those commercial products could be separated from the algal biomass prior to processing into a carbohydrate stream, simultaneously with that processing or from a residue left after carbohydrate separation. According to a preferred embodiment, biofuel is produced. Such biofuel may include products such biodiesel (e.g. fatty acid

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methyl esters produced from oil content of the biomass), biohydrogen and biofuel

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produced via pyrolysis of biomass fractions. Alternatively, or in addition, fractions of the algae are burned for thermal energy. Such thermal energy and optionally also thermal energy produced by combusting plant material and generated biofuel is used, according to a preferred embodiment, to provide processing energy.
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Processing energy could be used in operations such as processing of plant material to form carbohydrate stream, processing biomass, separation of ethanol, etc. CO2 formed in such combustion is preferably provided to the photosynthesis (operations 40, 140 and 240 in Figures 1,2, and 3, respectively). According to another preferred embodiment, the algal biomass comprises a

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commercial product selected from a group consisting of oil, glycerol, fatty acids, unsaturated fatty acids, omega3 fatty acids, arachidonic acid, xanthophylls, carotenoids, beta-carotene and astaxanthin. According to a preferred embodiment, at least one of those commercial products is separated from the algal biomass. Separation may use known methods and be conducted prior to the

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production of a carbohydrate stream, simultaneously with it or after such production. According to a preferred embodiment, algal biomass is grown in a bioreactor into which CO 2 is provided. Also introduced into the bioreactor is irradiation, which could be solar irradiation, artificial irradiation, irradiation from combustion, selected fractions of those and/or irradiation from any other source with irradiation wavelength suitable for the selected algae. According to another preferred embodiment, suitable nutrients are provided to the growing algal biomass, including e.g. nitrogen and phosphorous sources. Complex nutrients such as steep liquor and yeast extract might be desired for some of the algae.

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According to a preferred embodiment, those are supplied from internal sources, such as ashes from in combustion of algal residues or other plant material, cornsteep liquor (particularly in cases where the process is run next to corn milling plant and residues of ethanol distillation). Such nutrients are used, according to another preferred embodiment in the fermentation process.

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The algae biomass produced in the photosynthesis process is typically harvested prior to processing. Harvesting uses known methods for separation of microalgae or microalgae from aqueous growth medium, such as filtration and centrifugation.
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According to an exemplary process of the present invention, the CO2 formed in the fermentation (49% of the weight of the fermented glucose) will be consumed in the photosynthesis process and partially converted to carbohydrate in an algal biomass. That biomass is processed for carbohydrate recovery and the recovered carbohydrate is fermented to ethanol. Furthermore, the algal

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carbohydrate yield could be further increased by providing to the photosynthesis step CO2 from other sources, including CO2 produced in combustion. In a particularly preferred embodiment, the process of the present invention is operated next to processing plant material. Such processing and the ethanol separation require energy, which could be obtained by burning fuel such as

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natural gas and plant parts. The CO 2 produced in such burning of fuel is provided to the growth of the carbohydrate-containing algal biomass. According to a preferred embodiment, algae biomass, e.g. fractions that do not end up in the carbohydrate stream, and optionally also some of the ethanol provide such fuel. Algal biomass could be burned for that purpose or biologically digested to form

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methane, which is then used. According to a preferred embodiment, at least one of the provided (first) photosynthesis products and the biomass-contained (second) photosynthesis product comprises at least one of simple carbohydrates, such as glucose, xylose, arabinose and sucrose, oligosaccharides and poly saccharides, such as starch,

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cellulose and hemicellulose, lignin, pectin, natural polymeric compounds, triglycerides, phospholipids, their combinations, products of their processing and products of their degradation, processing and/or hydrolysis. According to a preferred embodiment, providing a photosynthesis product comprises processing a lignocellulosic material and/or biomass, such as wood,

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straw, stalk, corn cobs, switch grass, recycled paper, byproducts of foodlfeed

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production, etc. The main components of such lignocellulosic material are cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Processing could involve hydrolysis of the hemicellulose and cellulose fractions. According to a preferred embodiment, processing at least one of the
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provided (first) photosynthesis products and the biomass-contained (second) photosynthesis product comprises at least one of chemically-catalyzed reactions, biologically-catalyzed reactions, enzymatically-catalyzed reaction, biological processing, fermentation, anaerobic fermentation, pyrolysis, reforming and transesterification.

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According to a preferred embodiment, at least one of the first biofuel and the second biofuel is selected from a group consisting of ethanol, methane, hydrogen, biodiesel and a combination thereof. According to a preferred embodiment, the second biofuel is ethanol. According to another preferred embodiment, both reaction products comprise

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ethanol. According to a preferred embodiment, the second biofuel is similar to the first biofuel. According to a variant of this preferred embodiment, processing at least part of the first carbohydrate and processing at least part of the second photosynthesis product are combined.

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Alternatively, the first biofuel comprises methane, e.g. as formed in anaerobic fermentation, and the second biofuel comprises ethanol. According to another alternative the first biofuel comprises hydrogen, e.g. as formed by fermentation, reforming, etc., and the seconq biofuel comprises ethanol. According to still another alternative, the second biofuel comprises biodiesel, such

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as fatty acid methyl esters, e.g. as formed by a trans-esterification reaction between triglycerides and methanol. According to a preferred embodiment, CO2 formed in processing the second photosynthesis product is also consumed by the grown biomass.

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It will be evident to those skilled in the art that the invention is not limited to the details of the foregoing illustrative embodiments and that the present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential attributes thereof. The present embodiments are therefore to be
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considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.

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WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1.

A method for biofuel production, comprising the steps of: a. b. providing a first photosynthesis product; processing the first photosynthesis product to form a product mixture

comprising a first biofuel and CO2; c. d. e. separating CO 2 from the product mixture; growing biomass in a photosynthesis process, which biomass providing CO 2 from step (c) to the growing biomass, wherein at least optionally harvesting the grown biomass.

comprises a second photosynthesis product; part of the C02 is consumed in the photosynthesis process; and
f.

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2.

The method of Claim 1, further comprising the step of processing the second photosynthesis product to form a product mixture comprising a commercial product.

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3.

The method of Claim 2, wherein at least one of the processing of the first photosynthesis product and processing the second photosynthesis product comprises at least one processing step involving chemical catalysis, biological catalysis, enzymatic catalysis, biological processing,

fermentation, anaerobic fermentation, pyrolysis and reforming.


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4.

The method of Claim 2, wherein the commercial product comprises at least one of ethanol, formic acid, acetic acid, lactic acid, hydrogen, butanediol and their combinations.

5.

A method for the production of biofuel, comprising the steps of: a. providing a first photosynthesis product; processing the first photosynthesis product to form a product mixture

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b.

comprising a first biofuel and CO2; c. d. separating CO 2 from the product mixture; growing biomass in a photosynthesis process, which biomass

comprises a second photosynthesis product;

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e.

providing CO 2from step (c) to the growing biomass, wherein at least

part of the CO 2 is consumed in the photosynthesis process; f. g.


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harvesting grown biomass; and processing at least part of the second photosynthesis product to

form a product mixture comprising a second biofuel.

6.

The method of claim 5, wherein at least one of the first biofuel and the second biofuel comprises at least one of ethanol, methane, hydrogen, biodiesel and a combination thereof.

7.
10

The method of claim 5, where the second biofuel comprises ethanol. The method of claim 5, where both the first biofuel and the second biofuel comprises ethanol.

8.

9.

The method of claim 5, where the first biofuel comprises methane and the second biofuel comprises ethanol.

10. 15 11. 12.

The method of claim 5, where the first biofuel comprises hydrogen and the second biofuel comprises ethanol. The method of claim 5, where the second biofuel comprises biodiesel. The method of Claim 5, wherein the product mixture formed from processing the second photosynthesis product comprises CO2 , and the method further comprises the steps of separating the C02 and providing it

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to the growing biomass, wherein at least part of the provided CO 2 is consumed in the photosynthesis process. 13. The method of Claim 5, wherein the grown biomass comprises algal biomass.

14.
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The method of Claim 5, wherein the provided first photosynthesis product comprises at least one of plant material, algal biomass, their combinations, products of their processing and product of their degradation.

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15.

The method of Claim 5, wherein at least one of the first photosynthesis products and the second photosynthesis products comprises at least one of carbohydrates, starch, hemicellulose, cellulose, triglycerides,

phospholipids, their combinations and degradation products thereof. 5 16. A method for ethanol production, comprising the steps of: a. b. processing plant material to generate a carbohydrate stream; processing carbohydrate-containing algal biomass to generate a carbohydrate stream; c. 10 providing a combined carbohydrate stream comprising carbohydrate from both the plant source of step (a) and the algal source of step (b); d. fermenting carbohydrates resulting from the combined carbohydrate stream to form a product mixture comprising ethanol and C02; and e. 15 17. separating CO 2 from the product mixture.

A method for ethanol production, comprising the steps of: a. b. providing a carbohydrate stream; fermenting carbohydrates resulting from the carbohydrate stream to

form a product mixture comprising ethanol and C02; c. 20 d. e. separating CO 2 from the product mixture of step (b); growing biomass in a photosynthesis process; providing C02 from step (c) to the growing biomass wherein at least

a portion of the CO 2 is consumed in the photosynthesis process; wherein providing the carbohydrate stream of step (a) comprises the steps of: 25 f. harvesting biomass from step (e); and processing harvested biomass from step (f).

g.
18.

The method of Claim 17, wherein the grown biomass comprises algal biomass.

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19.

The method of Claim 17 wherein the provided carbohydrate stream comprises carbohydrate from a plant source.

20.
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A method for CO2 sequestration and ethanol production, comprising the steps of: a. b. c. processing plant material to generate a carbohydrate stream; processing carbohydrate-containing algal biomass to generate a providing a combined carbohydrate stream comprising carbohydrate fermenting carbohydrate resulting from the stream provided in (c) to

carbohydrate stream; from both the plant source of step (a) and the algal source of step (b); 10 d.

form a product mixture comprising ethanol and CO 2; e. f. 15 separating CO2 from the product mixture of step (d); growing carbohydrate containing algal-biomass in a photosynthesis

process; g. providing C02 from step (e) to the growing algal-biomass wherein at

least a portion of the CO2 is consumed in the photosynthesis process; h. harvesting algal biomass grown in step (g); and wherein the carbohydrate-containing algal biomass processed in step (b) results at least partially from the harvested biomass of step (h). 20

21.

The method of claim 20, wherein the plant is selected from starchy plants, sugar cane and sugar beet.

22.

The method of claim 21, wherein the starchy plant comprises at least one of corn, wheat, rice, and potatoes.

23.
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The method of Claim 20, further comprising a step of processing harvested biomass to generate at least one of biofuel, thermal energy, nutrients, CO 2 and commercial products.

24.

The method of claim 23, wherein a generated nutrient is used in at least one of growing biomass, growing algal biomass and fermenting.

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25.

The method of Claim 20, wherein ethanol is produced, and further comprising the step of separating ethanol from the product mixture.

26.

The method of claim 23, wherein the generated thermal energy is used in at least one of providing a carbohydrate stream, processing a plant

material, processing of biomass and separating ethanol. 27. The method of claim 20, wherein the generated CO2 is used in growing biomass. 28. A method for C02 sequestration and for the production of biofuel and a commercial product, comprising the steps of:

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a. providing a first photosynthesis product; b. processing the first photosynthesis product to form a product mixture comprising a biofuel and C02; c. separating C02 from the product mixture; d. growing biomass in a photosynthetic process, which biomass comprises

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a second photosynthesis product; e. providing C02 from step (c) to the growing biomass wherein at least part of the C02 is consumed in said photosynthesis process; f. harvesting grown biomass; and g. processing at least part of said second photosynthesis product to form a

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product mixture comprising a commercial product. 29. The method of Claim 29, wherein the biofuel is ethanol.

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Figure 1
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26 Processing plant material (10)

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28

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8

Fennenting and separation (20) 22 Biofuel separation (30)

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Photosynthesis and harvesting (40) 42

12

32

126
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128

Figure 2

Fennenting and separation (120)

I-------~ Photosynthesis and harvesting (140) 124


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122

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132

152

142

biofuel separation (130)

--Biomass processing (150)


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144

Figure 3
226 208 214 228

Processing plant material (210) 212

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Fennenting and separation (220) 222

Ir

224

Photosynthesis and harvesting (240) 242

252
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biofuel separation (230)

Biomass processing (250)

232

1/1

INTERNATIONAL SEARCH REPORT

International application No

PCT/US2006/019560
A. CLASSIFICATIOfjOF SUBJECT MATTER /

INV.

C12P3 00

C12P5 02

C12P7/08

C12P7/64

According to International Patent Classification (IPC) or to both national classification and IPC

B. FIELDS SEARCHED
Minimum documentation searched (classification system followed by classification symbols)

C12P
Documentation searched other than minimum documentation to the extent that such documents are included in the fields searched

Electronic data base consulted during the international search (name of data base and, where practical, search terms used)

EPO-Internal, WPI Data, PAJ

c. DOCUMENTS CONSIDERED TO BE RELEVANT


Category Citation of document, with indication, where appropriate, of the relevant passages Relevant to claim No.

P,X

KHESHGI H S ET AL: "Sequestration of fermentation CO2 from ethanol production" ENERGY, PERGAMON PRESS, OXFORD, GB, vol. 30, no. 10, July 2005 (2005-07) , pages 1865-1871, XP004732892 ISSN: 0360-5442 page 1865 - page 1868

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3,6-11 , 14,15, 19,21, 22,25,29 1-9, 12-20, 23-29

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EP 0 645 456 A (MITSUBISHI JUKOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA) 29 March 1995 (1995-03-29) page 4, 1i ne 41 - page 6, 1 i ne 15; example
3
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[I]

Further documents are listed in the continuation of Box C.

[]

See patent family annex.

Special categories of cited documents: "A" document defining the general state of the art which is not considered to be of particular relevance "E" earlier document but pUblished on or after the international filing date "L" document which may throw doubts on priority claim(s) or which is cited to establish the publication date of another citation or other special reason (as specified) "0" document referring to an oral disclosure, use, exhibition or other means "P" document pUblished prior to the International filing date but later than the priority date claimed Date of the actuai completion of the international search

"r' later document published after the international filing date


or priority date and not in conflict with the application but cited to understand the principle or theory underlying the invention "X" document of particular relevance; the claimed invention cannot be considered novel or cannot be considered to involve an inventive step when the document is taken alone "Y" document of particUlar relevance; the claimed invention cannot be considered to involve an inventive step when the document is combined with one or more other such documents, such combination being obvious to a person skilled in the art. "&" document member of the same patent family Date of mailing of the international search report

18 September 2006
Name and mailing address of the ISAI European Patent Office, P.B. 5818 Patentlaan 2 NL - 2280 HV Rijswijk Tel. (+31-70) 340-2040, Tx. 31 651 epo nl, Fax: (+31-70)340-3016
Form PCT/ISAJ210 (second sheet) (April 2005)

25/09/2006
Authorized officer

De Kok, Ad

INTERNATIONAL SEARCH REPORT

International application No

PCT/US2006/019560
C(Continuation).
Category*

DOCUMENTS CONSIDERED TO BE RELEVANT


Relevant to claim No.

Citation of document, with indication, where appropriate, of the relevant passages

EP 0 878 533 A (ENERGY OF NATURE PROJEKTGESELLSCHAFT FUER UMWELTTECHNISCHE ANLAGENSY) 18 November 1998 (1998-11-18) column 1, line 1 - column 4, line 36 column 5, line 35 - column 8, line 16 STEWART C ET AL: "A study of methods of carbon dioxide capture and sequestration--the sustainability of a photosynthetic bioreactor approach" ENERGY CONVERSION AND MANAGEMENT, ELSEVIER SCIENCE PUBLISHERS, OXFORD, GB, vol. 46, no. 3, February 2005 (2005-02), pages 403-420, XP004605027 ISSN: 0196-8904 abstract page 405 - page 410 page 412 - page 418 US 6 648 949 Bl (DER VICTOR K ET AL) 18 November 2003 (2003-11-18) column 3, line 30 - column 4, line 58 column 6, line 30 - line 59

1-6,9, 12-15,28

1,2,4,5, 12, 15-18, 20,23, 24,26-28

5-13, 15-18, 20,23,27

US 2002/193617 Al (ULRICH JAMES F ET AL) 19 December 2002 (2002-12-19) the whole document

10,11, 21,22

Form PCTIISAl210 (continualion of second sheet) (ApnI2005)

INTERNATIONAL SEARCH REPORT


Information on patent family members

International application No

PCT/US2006/019560
Patent family member(s) Publication date

Patent document cited in search report

EP 0645456

Publication date

29-03-1995

DE DE US DE NONE NONE

69427144 01 69427144 T2 5578472 A 19721280 Al

31-05-2001 11-10-2001 26-11-1996 19-11-1998

EP 0878533 US 6648949 US 2002193617

18-11-1998 18-11-2003 19-12-2002

81

Al

Form PCT/ISAJ210 (patent family annex) (April 2005)