AE Advanced Fuels Keyes, an ethanol subsidiary of AE Biofuels, has secured a $1.88m matching grant from the California Energy Commission to enhance the commercial implementation of its cellulosic ethanol production technology.

The integrated cellulose/starch pre-development facility will be located in Keyes in the US state of California, where the company plans to restart and operate the 55 million gallon per year commercial ethanol facility in late April 2011.

The pre-development facility will further optimize the company’s enzyme technology utilizing multiple agri-waste feedstocks in conjunction with traditional corn inputs in order to ready the integrated process for commercial implementation, the company said.

The company anticipates that the integrated cellulose/starch technology can replace up to 25% of traditional corn inputs with non-edible agricultural waste feedstocks, when fully incorporated into an operating ethanol facility.

AE Biofuels is a vertically integrated biofuels company based in California, US.