Cellulosic Ethanol Goes Commercial

Range Fuels awarded permit to construct the nations first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant.

Range Fuels recently announced that the company was awarded a construction permit from the state of Georgia to build the first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in the United States. Groundbreaking for the 100-million-gallon-per-year cellulosic ethanol plant will take place this summer, with phase one of the plant scheduled to complete construction in 2008, bringing a production capacity of 20 million gallons a year online.

While corn-based ethanol is inherently limited, the U.S. Department of Energy has identified over one billion tons of biomass annually that could be converted to biofuels, like ethanol. Range Fuels technology can transform all of this biomass, including wood chips, agricultural wastes, grasses, and cornstalks as well as hog manure, municipal garbage, sawdust and paper pulp into ethanol. The company has already successfully tested close to 30 types of biomass for producing ethanol.

The companys technology eliminates expensive enzymes through a thermo-chemical conversion that uses a two step process to convert the biomass to synthesis gas, and from this gas to ethanol. In addition to the ability to process a broad range of potential biomass feedstock, this "K2 system" benefits from a modular design. Depending upon the quantity and availability of feedstock, the system can scale from entry level systems to large configurations, and the range of system size allowing placement near the biomass source which in turn reduces transportation costs and allows the most appropriate size system to be deployed.

For more information, visit www.rangefuels.com


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