Project Synopsis

Perform an independent process engineering assessment of the validity, completeness, and scalability of numerous new food and fuel related process technologies for a technology development company.

Project Summary


Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was contracted by a bio technology development company to perform a due diligence project for several feedstock production processes and end products biorefining technologies. All of these were either developed or licensed by the client.  This client possesses technologies for the non-destructive separation and production of proteins, sugars, starches, oils, and cellulose from corn. PROCESS was contracted to assess the feasibility of integrating these technologies in a single commercial facility.  Specifically, PROCESS was tasked to answer three basic questions: (1) do the processes, which currently exist on pilot or laboratory scales, work (2) are the processes complete, and (3) can the processes be scaled to commercial production sizes?

The technologies involved included:

  • A non-destructive method for separating the corn oil, protein, starches, and sugars
  • A process to create a resistant starch from regular starch
  • A process for continuous fermentation of sugar into butanol
  • A process for converting corn protein into bioplastic.

The primary project task involved a series of site visits for the purposes of observing the pilot/lab scale processes, gathering data and information, and interviewing the appropriate scientists and operating personnel.  Based on the information obtained, as well as further technical research and PROCESS‘ knowledge of similar technologies and operations, PROCESS then prepared its final assessment for the client.

As this was a due diligence for the technology owners/licensers (as opposed to a third-party due diligence), PROCESS functioned throughout the project as a consultant to the client, outlining additional testing, piloting, and engineering steps that required completion prior to getting to the point where all three basic questions posed above can be answered affirmatively for all the technologies.

In the end, PROCESS reported its findings to the client and helped present the results to an investment group interested in further funding the client’s activities.

Industry Type

  • Alternative Fuels Production
  • Food Ingredients Development
  • Technology Development


Utilized Skills

  • Independent process evaluation
  • New process technology due diligence

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