About BlueFire Renewables

BlueFire Renewables, Inc’s (“BlueFire”) use of the Arkenol patented process positions it as the only viable, world-wide cellulose conversion company with demonstrated production experience from wood wastes, urban trash (post-sorted MSW), rice and wheat straws and other agricultural residues.

BlueFire was established to deploy the proven Arkenol Process Technology (“Technology”) for the conversion of cellulosic waste materials into renewable fuels and other products. BlueFire is the exclusive North America licensee of the technology and its goal is to develop and operate high-value cellulose conversion facilities. These “biorefineries” will convert widely available, inexpensive, organic materials such as agricultural residues, high-content biomass crops, wood residues, and cellulose in municipal solid wastes into valuable and renewable end products.

BlueFire’s technology is extremely versatile, both in its ability to utilize a wide variety of feedstocks and in the end-products that it can produce. This versatility enables BlueFire to consider a wide variety of feedstocks and locations in which to develop facilities to become the lowest cost producer of renewable products from cellulosic sugars.

With the research and development work completed, patent protections in place, the product markets researched, and several full-scale BioEthanol projects currently in various stages of development, BlueFire is uniquely positioned to become the world leader in the development, ownership and operation of these biorefineries.


Arnold R. Klann – Chairman / President / CEO

Mr. Klann has over thirty years of experience in corporate management, project finance, engineering, design, construction, start-up, environmental permitting, and real estate acquisition. Mr. Klann is the Chief Executive Officer for BlueFire Renewables. As cfounder of both BlueFire and technology licensor Arkenol, Inc., he has been responsible for the successful development or acquisition of over 610 megawatts of natural gas-fired cogeneration facilities, and been the driving force behind the research and development effort leading to the commercialization of the Arkenol technology. Prior to founding ARK Energy, he successfully launched three businesses and managed complex teams for project development and operation. Areas of technical expertise include cogeneration development using natural gas-fired and solid fuels technologies, ocean thermal energy conversion, and offshore oil exploration design and operations.

As Vice President of Engineering and Product Development for GWF Power Systems Company, led technical commercialization, development and permitting activities for eight petroleum coke and coal-fired power plants. Specializes in frontier technology development. A.A. (electrical engineering) 1972, Lakeland College.

John E. Cuzens – Chief Technology Officer / Senior VP

Mr. Cuzens is the Chief Technology Officer for BlueFire Renewables. He started with ARK Energy and Arkenol for six years and is the co-inventor on seven of Arkenol’s eight U.S. foundation patents for the conversion of cellulosic materials into fermentable sugar products using a modified strong acid hydrolysis process. His career resume records the successful completion of tens of projects valued cumulatively at more than a billion dollars. He has more than twenty years of project management experience punctuated frequently with engineering or R&D management assignments. Mr. Cuzens has served a Director of Projects for Wahlco Inc. and Manager of Engineering and Project Management for Applied Utility Systems, both engineering and fabrication companies producing environmental mitigation systems. He also served as Director of engineering and manufacturing for Hydrogen Burner Technology, a leader in partial oxidation production of hydrogen for process and fuel cell technologies. He was the lead Project Manager for Ultrasystems Engineers and Constructors in the process and biochemical division leading multimillion dollar R&D pilot plant construction projects for Fischer Tropsch and landfill gas benefaction facilities as well as project liaison for ethanol from grain and cheese whey facilities. His experience spans the power production, petrochemical, biotech and fuel cell industries. Mr. Cuzens has a B.S. Chemical Engineering degree from the University of California at Berkeley. He is further a State of California, Registered Professional Mechanical Engineer, 1980, License No. 20891 and State of California, Contractors “A” License Responsible Managing Employee for ARK Energy, Inc. No.A700016.

Necy Sumait – Executive VP / Director

Ms. Sumait is Senior Vice President for BlueFire Renewablesl. She has extensive background in the development of energy projects from inception through financial closing, commissioning, and operations. She has broad experience in siting, regulatory compliance, governmental and community relations and legislative affairs. Ms. Sumait has played major roles in the successful development of several solar and natural gas power plant projects and has been an active participant in the state and national efforts to encourage the commercialization of biomass to renewable fuels technologies. Ms. Sumait obtained all of the federal, state and local permits required for the only cellulose to ethanol plant to have been permitted in California. Prior to joining the ARK/Arkenol group, she was Vice President of Project Development for LUZ Development and Finance Corporation. While at LUZ, Ms. Sumait led the efforts for the successful permitting of nine solar thermal projects totaling over 500 MW through the California Energy Commission. Ms. Sumait has a MBA in Technological Management from Illinois Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Biology from De Paul University. She currently serves on the Executive Board for the California Biomass Collaborative. 

Soo Kwan Shin- Executive VP / Operations

Mr. Shin is Executive Vice President of Operations for BlueFire Renewables. He has an extensive background in finance and corporate management with over 30 years of experience. He has started multiple companies focusing on corporate services, corporate finance, and energy finance. Previously he ran his own Venture Capital Company and was Managing Director of a Corporate Restructuring Company. He started as a manager for a long-term credit bank in Korea. He has an MBA from Kookmin University specializing in business management as well as has studied timber science.  He is an advisor to the BlueFire Board of Directors for capital raising and other financial matters.

Chris Nichols – Director

Chris Nichols is the Chairman and President/CEO of Advanced Growing Systems, Inc. He brings substantial experience in business growth and marketing. He previously headed Westcap Securities Private Client Group as the Senior Vice President in charge of sales and marketing. He brings 10 plus years of strategic investment/public market experience beginning at Dean Witter Reynolds in 1994. He has a broad range of knowledge from sophisticated derivative trading to offering Separate Account services to High Net Worth Individuals. He holds all applicable licenses including a Series 24 and Series 7. Mr. Nichols is a graduate of California State University in Fullerton with a B.A. degree in Marketing.

Joe Sparano – Director

Mr. Sparano currently serves as an executive advisor to the Western States Petroleum Association’s (“WSPA”) board of directors. WSPA is an non-profit trade association that represents companies that account for the bulk of petroleum exploration, production, refining, transportation and marketing in the six western states of Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. In his role as executive advisor, Mr. Sparano advises the WSPA’s President and Chairman on matters related to the trade organization’s operations and advocacy in six Western states (CA, AZ, NV, WA, OR, HI). Mr. Sparano has served in such role since January 2010, at which time he resigned as the President of the WSPA, a role in which he served since March 2003. Prior to joining the WSPA, from March 2000 to March 2003, Mr. Sparano served as the President of Tesoro Petroleum Corporation’s (“Tesoro”) West Coast Regional Business Unit and as Vice President of the company’s Heavy Fuels Marketing segment. Tesoro is an independent marketer and refiner of petroleum products. Prior to joining Teroso, from September 1990 to August 1995, Mr. Sparano served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Refining Company, a California based petroleum refining operation. Mr. Sparano graduated cum laude from the Stevens Institute of Technology, receiving a B.S. in chemical engineering.