Florida Biorefinery Targets First Waste-to-Fuel Process on Commercial Scale

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A UK-based company this week broke ground on a $130 million plant in Vero Beach, Fla. that company officials say will be the first to produce advanced biofuels from waste on a commercial scale.

While other researchers are working on processes to convert waste into fuel, Ineos Bio’s plan would garner revenue from three different streams: taking in plant waste and possibly household garbage; generating electricity; and producing ethanol with significantly reduced CO2 emissions.

The facility will use common processes to gasify plant waste, including palm leaves. But while typical ethanol processes use bacteria that eat sugars, this process will use a bacteria found in chicken waste that researchers say consumes carbon monoxide and hydrogen.

The remaining gas will be burned for electricity. In tests, the process has produced nearly 100 gallons of ethanol per dry ton of waste, according to the company.

By mid-2012, the company expects to begin producing 8 million gallons of bioethanol and six megawatts of electricity annually.

About two megawatts of that electricity — enough to power 1,400 homes — will be shared with the local community.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

  • http://www.global-nrg.biz/blog Asaf Shalgi

    Any waste to energy project is a worthy project for the planet.