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  • Comstock Inc.

Comstock executes its 1st biorefinery commercial agreement

Comstock Inc. announced Dec. 28 the execution of agreements with RenFuel K2B AB to advance Comstock’s first commercial biorefinery, including an option to acquire a subsidiary of RenFuel (JV).


The JV has previously completed extensive preliminary engineering for a new biorefinery using RenFuel’s patented catalytic-esterification process to refine lignin from byproducts of paper production into a biointermediate for refining into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel in Europe.


Comstock also committed to a strategic $3 million investment in RenFuel payable over the next three years for the continued development and commercialization of advanced applications of RenFuel’s and Comstock’s complimentary technologies.


The existing engineering work for the JV biorefinery involves integration of the RenFuel process into a pulp-and-paper mill in Sweden.


Comstock and RenFuel are currently evaluating the requirements for inclusion of an additional 25,000 tons per year of biorefining capacity based on Comstock’s commercially available cellulosic ethanol and Bioleum-derived fuels technologies.


RenFuel granted Comstock the right to acquire a majority stake in the JV as part of the consideration paid under Comstock’s investment, subject to preexisting and customary JV-shareholder approvals.


Importantly, RenFuel and the JV have previously entered into agreements with a strategic investor with significant renewable fuel refining assets in Europe that has committed to provide the JV with an offtake agreement for the biorefinery if certain thresholds are met.


That investor owns a minority share of the JV with standard consent and other shareholder rights.


The investor also recently announced its intention to make substantial additional investments in increased renewable fuel capacity at some of its existing refineries, in part to service the rapidly increasing global demand for SAF.


“RenFuel’s extensive work with this JV biorefinery site fits perfectly into our commercialization plans,” said Corrado De Gasperis, Comstock’s CEO and executive chairman. “It allows both Comstock and RenFuel to capitalize on the existing [technology-readiness level 7 (TRL 7)] scale-up work and accelerate construction of an initial small-scale facility based on Comstock’s technologies with embedded strategic feedstock and offtake stakeholders. The resulting integrated site would mark the first of our Bioleum Hubs, while providing a beachhead in the rapidly expanding European renewable fuels market. We are very excited to integrate this project into our portfolio and we look forward to working with RenFuel and its feedstock and offtake partners.”


In addition to advancing Comstock’s first commercial Bioleum Hub, Comstock agreed to provide RenFuel with a $3 million senior secured convertible debt investment to provide additional funds to commercialize its breakthrough catalytic-esterification technology, including development of advanced joint applications of RenFuel’s and Comstock’s complimentary technologies.


Comstock said its proprietary technologies are proven to convert lignocellulosic biomass into cellulosic ethanol and proprietary Bioleum biointermediate blends at yields exceeding 100 gallons per dry ton of biomass on a gasoline-gallon equivalent basis (GGE), and low carbon-intensity (CI) scores of 15.


Comstock is already using RenFuel’s catalytic-esterification technology to refine its proprietary Bioleum derivatives into hydrodeoxygenated Bioleum oil (HBO) for use by advanced biofuel refineries in blending with, diversifying and extending conventional hydroprocessed fat, oil and grease feedstocks that can simultaneously produce SAF and renewable diesel fuel.


Comstock holds the exclusive license to RenFuel’s refining technologies in the Americas (North, Central and South).


RenFuel CEO Sven Löchen added that “we are thrilled with our rapidly expanding strategic partnership with Comstock. Comstock’s technologies and proprietary Bioleum products create a vastly expanded market opportunity for our technologies worldwide, which Comstock is currently advancing in the Americas. Simultaneously, Comstock’s direct investment in RenFuel will help to support our continued growth and technology development, while their leadership and participation in the JV will build on our significant historical commercialization investment in our planned 100,000-ton-per-year biorefinery in the European market. We are looking forward to working with the JV’s strategic feedstock and offtake partners to include Comstock in the JV commercialization efforts to build value for all stakeholders. Our two companies are strongly aligned on a shared mission and vision of enabling systemic decarbonization and net-zero mobility.”


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