Optinol: The future of Advanced Fermented Biofuels

Optinol is a game changer, a breakthrough new technology that produces a better fuel in a better way.

Optinol Inc., has developed a process for the production of bio-butanol, an advanced biofuel made from sugars and starches. Optinol is less expensive to produce, concentrate and deliver to market than ethanol and is the lowest cost approach to making butanol. At the same time, it is a more flexible and more valuable fuel. The net effect is that Optinol is a far more profitable fuel to produce. It is also a cleaner burning fuel making it superior for environmental concerns.

The Optinol process can be deployed in entirely new "green field" sites, or as a retrofit to existing commercial scale sugar and starch-based ethanol production facilities. The company's business plan is to license its process to existing and new biofuel production facilities.

Optinol provides an enormous new opportunity in the production of fermented renewable fuels. As green field Optinol production expands, the new facilities will likely be placed close to existing pipelines, since rail lines will not be needed. The industry can grow without being hindered by rail car capacity or desirable land that is adjacent to a rail line. This removes enormous cost, as well as time and market distance barriers. Optinol also pushes out and can ultimately obliterate the so-called "blend wall" for fermented biofuels.

Our Team
Optinol's management team consists of business and engineering professionals who have a background in biofuel production and a distinguished record in starting new companies from the ground up, as well as in designing and building first-of-a-kind chemical processing plants.

Jack Oswald, CEO

Jack Oswald founder and investor in SynGest Inc., AliphaJet Inc. and interim CEO of Optinol Inc. is a nationally-recognized entrepreneur focused on funding, developing, commercializing and deploying sustainable clean energy solutions for agriculture and biofuels. His current focus is at the intersection of energy and agriculture a.k.a. "The Three F's: Food, Fertilizer and Fuel". Optinol is committed to the commercialization of a new process to convert a wide variety of sugars and starches into highly valuable bio-butanol, an advanced renewable biofuel. Optinol's focus is the conversion of sugars (including cellulosic sugars) into bio-butanol, a direct replacement for gasoline and a superior blending fuel than ethanol. Individually and combined, Jack's companies are working on game-changing technologies that that will have immediate impact and are highly scalable in a short period of time.Jack currently is on the Board of the Advanced Biofuels Association, the leading advocacy organization for truly sustainable biofuels. In October, 2010, Jack became a Member of the Board and has subsequently joined the faculty of the University of California, Merced Campus. Jack is also a member of Environmental Entrepreneurs' (E2 - www.e2.org) DC Advocacy Strike Team. Jack was a founding board member of the Clean Economy Network (CEN) (www.cleaneconomy.net). He has also served as a Special Delegate to the U.S.-China Clean Energy Forum, an organization focused on large scale clean energy collaboration between the U.S. and China. As a member of the Full Circle Fund (www.fullcirclefund.org, a hands-on philanthropy organization) Jack co-led with Josh Becker a team to create the Green Cities California (www.greencitiescalifornia.org) web repository for sharing municipal best practices in sustainability. Jack is a graduate of Dartmouth College (AB Engineering) and Harvard Business School (MBA). He is also an avid pilot holding Commercial, Multi-engine and Instrument Certificates.

Ravi Randhava, PhD, CTO Process Engineering

Ravi Randhava is President and Chief Operating Officer of Unitel Technologies, Inc. Based in Mt. Prospect, Illinois, Unitel is a small business at the leading edge of environmental and energy related applications. Ravi leads all research and development activities, including those of its primary subcontractors (Argonne National Laboratory, Gas Technology Institute, IIP-India, Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of Kentucky and Ohio State University). The company identifies emerging technologies in order to address specific needs, then plans and develops intellectual property, technology, and commercialization, marketing and financing strategies for its development. Environmental applications and technologies for efficient energy utilization are areas of special interest. Ravi pioneered the practical application of modular mini-plant technology, which eventually translated in many first-of-a-kind installations. Ravi has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, is the author of more than 30 papers published in technical journals, and is named as the inventor in numerous patents.

Donal Day PhD, CTO Biology

Donal Day is A Wilbert and Sons Endowed Professor at the Audubon Sugar Institute LSU Agricultural Center. Dr. Day has over 40 years experience in microbial physiology and industrial microbiology, and research and development (laboratory-, bench- and pilot scale) relating to food, diagnostic, pharmaceutical and energy industries. He has written more than 200 technical publications and has been awarded 16 patents. His expertise includes the areas of biofuels, fermentation, new product development and industrial application, carbohydrates, polysaccharides, enzymes, immobilized cells and cell culture. Dr. Day currently leads Biofuels Research at the LSU Audubon Sugar Institute. He is a member of the Southern Regional Development Committee/USDA- Value Added Products from Renewable Resources (chair- Specialty Chemicals from Renewable Resources) and is a reviewer for the US Department of Energy.

Greg DiCosola, Sr. Process Engineer

Greg DiCosola is the Senior Process Engineer for Optinol and leads the process design and engineering. He also leads the computer modeling and process simulation, selection and specification of equipment, and cost engineering. Greg has served as a principal engineer, process engineer, and chemical engineer at Unitel Technologies since 2007, where his projects have included the design and engineering of several first-of-a-kind catalyst-based technologies, including: a bitumen upgrading demonstration plant for a major US oil company; a bio-based specialty chemicals pilot plant for Elevance Renewable Sciences; a biodiesel production plant utilizing solid catalyst process technology; and a demonstration plant for making base oils from plastic waste materials. Greg served as a Petty Officer in the US Navy and holds a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BA in biology from DePaul University.