In the News

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March 21, 2012
Sweetwater Energy hires Cellulosic Sugar Pilot Plant Manager

Sweetwater Energy, Inc., a Rochester, NY-based cellulosic sugar manufacturer, announced today it has hired Dale Brandstetter to manage the company’s new pilot plant.

Mr. Brandstetter is responsible for the operation and process management of Sweetwater’s newly installed pilot system and its forthcoming demonstration system that will be installed in Q4, 2012. He will also be responsible for aiding in the design and development of full scale systems that will follow.

“We needed an individual with a very specific and rare set of qualities to handle the operation of our new plant,” said Arunas Chesonis, CEO of Sweetwater. “We have a breakthrough method of producing crude sugars and Dale has the experience we’ll need to bring this process to fruition on the pilot- and demonstration-scales, but to translate what we’ve learned into our forthcoming full-scale facilities.”

“It’s incredibly exciting to be part of something like this, where you get to be on the cutting edge of a new industry,” said Mr. Brandstetter. “I think I’m especially fortunate because I’m able to use the experience of my career to help create this new industry. When I was helping run ethanol plants in the past, I would never have thought of this new model, but once I started talking to the folks at Sweetwater, I was amazed at how much the ethanol industry can benefit from what they’re doing. I’m really looking forward to getting the pilot and demo systems up and running to see what can do in the commercial space.”

Mr. Brandstetter joins Sweetwater with over 30 years of operations, management, engineering, and construction experience. He has worked as plant manager and director of operations for ethanol plants such as Tate and Lyle North America, BioFuel Energy Corporation and A.E. Biofuels, Inc. Mr. Brandstetter was also plant manager of a 40 million gallons-per-year Central City, Nebraska ethanol plant and hired three Fagen Management teams. In addition to the fuel sectors, Mr. Brandstetter has worked in the food industry, giving him a unique insight into the preparation and handling of sugars.

Sweetwater Energy uses a unique technology to produce low-cost sugars in a water-based solution from non-food plant materials. This sugar solution is sold to refineries, which use it to produce biofuels, biochemicals, and bioplastics. Unlike petroleum-based technologies, Sweetwater Energy’s process uses renewable plant materials that are not only grown domestically, but significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In the spring of 2011, Sweetwater Energy’s team of scientists, led by one of the world’s most renowned leaders in bio-conversion technology, Dr. Sarad Parekh, Ph.D., devised a way to dramatically increase the efficiency of extracting fermentable sugars from a variety of biomass types. The technology generates separate and concentrated individual streams of C5 and C6 sugars, allowing a single processing site to serve the needs of multiple customers.


Sweetwater Energy uses a unique technology for producing low-cost nanofibrillated cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, sugars, and clean lignin from non-food plant materials to help meet the modern world's increasing bioenergy and biochemical demands.

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