Oct 15 2013
The Sweetwater Story
Jerry W. Horton launched Sweetwater in 2006 under the name SweetWater Ethanol, LLC with the intention of advancing a decentralized business model he developed to allow farmers to produce ethanol from crops right on their farms. Horton’s vision was to use his background in food-process engineering and plant automation, as well as his 25 years as a cattle farmer, to streamline the process in a way that removed most of the transportation and energy costs that plague today’s industry.
In 2009, Jack Baron came on board as CEO and chairman, and along with Horton hired the senior team, including Dr. Sarad Parekh. The new team refocused the company specifically on producing sugar—which can be a key precursor for ethanol, as well as for many types of other biofuels, biochemicals and bioplastics. To encompass the full spectrum of biofuels and energy-saving efforts in which the company was now engaging, the board of directors changed the name to Sweetwater Energy and officially incorporated in December 2009.
Through 2010, Sweetwater scientists concentrated on developing a new cellulosic sugar extraction technology, while the engineering team built a pilot facility to extract and sell sugar from corn silage—a type of whole-corn storage technology that is currently used predominantly to feed cattle. The pilot facility manufactured sugar through late 2010 and early 2011. The sugar was sold to two companies working with the Department of Defense in an effort to make bio-based jet fuel.
In the spring of 2011, with the experience gained from running the pilot facility and the advances Dr. Parekh made in the laboratory, Sweetwater laid out the plans for its first demonstration cellulosic plant, which will be completed in spring of 2013.
Article in conBio:
Friday, October 11, 2013
Sweetwater Energy, Inc., a Rochester NY-based renewable sugar producer, has announced a 50/50 joint venture with Naturally Scientific, Inc. to produce sugar from waste carbon dioxide.