Your Feedback

Energy News Monitoring

Cellulosic ethanol 2016 / key applicants

Recent Inventions / Brief Overview

The present review provides information on the 10 most productive patent applicants who published applications in the field of cellulosic ethanol production in 2016. The review aggregates data from around 261 patent applications. The patent applications examined were filed in 18 patent offices by 115 applicants from 23 countries.

Global ethanol production is predominantly concentrated in such regions as the USA, Brazil, the European Union and China. The largest ethanol producers in 2015 were the following facilities: DuPont (Iowa, US), Abengoa Hugoton (Kansas, US), GranBio Bioflex (Alagoas, Brazil), POET-DSM (Iowa, US), Beta Renewables (Italy), and others. This data characterizes the participation of companies in the production of ethanol from various feedstocks. The level of involvement of different companies into the production of ethanol from cellulosic materials can be estimated by their patenting activity in this field.

The table below represents data on the top 10 patent applicants in this collection of documents:

StatusCountryNameAverage, RateTotal, 2016
CompanyUSXyleco Inc.11.140
CompanyUSAPI Intellectual Property Holdings LLC8.416
CompanyFINeste Oil9.511
CompanyUSEI du Pont de Nemours and Company69
CompanyDKNovozymes A/S9.19
OrganizationFRIFP (École Nationale Supérieure du Pétrole et des Moteurs)9.18
OrganizationCNCAS DICP Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics10.47
OrganizationFRLe Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)8.77
CompanyUSPoet Research, Inc.10.37
CompanyCAIogen Corporation86

In many cases (50% of documents) the applicants composed their technical solutions in the form of methods, procedures and algorithms used in cellulosic ethanol production or in processes directly related it, such as the production of corresponding equipment. An almost equally large share of technical solutions was represented in the form of biological or chemical compositions (45.6%). The number of solutions representing device structures comprises only 4.4% of documents. Poet Research, Inc. had the highest share of documents that described devices – 100% of the company's documents in the present collection. The diagram below represents the structure of technological interests of the companies from the top 10 list, as defined from the texts of their documents in the present collection.

In the majority of cases the applicants in the top 10 list focus on providing solutions to the problems of low efficiency of the main technological process and high costs in general. The following problems were also mentioned quite frequently: low efficiency caused by the diversity or non-uniformity of feedstock; high operational costs related to residue utilization; high operational costs related to poor operating characteristics of equipment and materials used.

In the present collection of documents all of the applicants from the top 10 list, except for Poet Research, Inc. and Iogen Corporation, have applications published outside their countries of residence, which indicates that the aforementioned companies demonstrate substantial international activity. Xyleco Inc. covers more patent offices than other companies – the examined documents of the company were published in the patent offices of the USA; Israel; New Zealand; Singapore; Japan; Australia; South Korea; China and Malaysia. Danish Novozymes A/S also filed applications in various patent offices – its documents were published by the World Intellectual Property Organisation; European Patent Office; as well as in the patent offices of Canada, Australia, China and the USA. The Average Rate column in the table above displays an aggregate bibliographical patent document rating, which evaluates documents by the sum of their bibliographical parameters, which include the number of registered claims, document type, problems declared in the description, technological belonging, and many others.

6 out of the 10 applicants appeared in a similar list for 2015, while the leaders of this list (Xyleco Inc. and API Intellectual Property Holdings LLC) have also taken the leading positions in previous years. Other companies that appear in the top 10 list for a second year in a row are: IFP (École Nationale Supérieure du Pétrole et des Moteurs); Le Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS); E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company and Neste Oil.

CD - Methods of control and diagnostics; COS - Chemistry and other substances; CS - Capture and separation; CUW - Capture, utilization of solid, liquid and gaseous wastes; FS - Feeding systems; PP - Primary processing; PT - Pre-treatment of feedstock; SE - Secondary equipment; ST - Storage & transportation


The diagram above shows what the applicants predominantly proposed: technologies, equipment and materials for primary processing and preparation of feedstock; technologies and equipment to perform the main production processes of cellulosic ethanol; substances used in main reactions, technologies and modes for preparation thereof. Other technology elements are represented to a lesser degree.

The documents of the top 10 applicants belong predominantly to the C12P IPC class, which represents fermentation processes for the synthesis or separation of chemical compounds. It is followed by the C12N class, which is related to micro-organisms or enzymes, the compositions and handling thereof.

More detailed information on the methodology as well as on the results of patent researches in the most important fields of contemporary energy industry can be found at