Skip to comments.Range Fuels building the Nation's First Commercial Cellulosic Ethanol Plant
Posted on 07/28/2007 7:45:52 PM PDT by P-40
Cellulosic ethanol is the next step in making a definitive replacement for foreign oil. The reality is becoming ever closer, now in large part due to Range Fuels. The State of Georgia has just awarded them a permit to build the first plant to employ their patented technology to produce 100 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year.
Part of the apparent brilliance to the K2 process, as it is called, is that it is a modular design, meaning the processing equipment can be scaled to the need and location, and doesn't necessarily require a monstrous factory. Theoretically, a biomass supplier could cut transportation expenses by sending their material directly into an on-site processor, making the whole thing much more efficient. The K2 process eliminates expensive enzymes by using a two-step thermo-chemical conversion, first converting the biomass into a synthesis gas, and then processing the gas into ethanol.
This new technology and first of many plants employing it is beneficial for two main reasons. We've already covered the lessened dependency on foreign oil. It also means that with the alleged simplicity and adaptability of this processing method, we could see a boom in the number of ethanol plants across the country, thereby producing much more supply of ethanol, lessening demand, and lowering the price to something far more competitive to gasoline. That would then make the decreased efficiency of ethanol-burning engines more tolerable. Of course, as that technology advances as well, fuel efficiency could soon be on par with its oil-based competition.
I believe with the cellulosic ethanol production we’ll be able to use all kinds of waste products like grass clippings, corn stalks etc.
About the only way this could make economic sense (if that is possible) is that their feed stock consist of materials they are paid to take.
That would be nice. The city here already has a lawn waste pick up day. Might as well do something with the stuff besides feed it to the landfill.
If their feedstock is to be garbage, that may very well be the case.
This sound very much like the process of Coal gasification and then making ethanol from that gas which was pioneered during WW II.
The problem with using cellulose is that it is not conceivable to me that the BTUs in could be greater than the BTUs out.
Making syngas is great, but why convert that into a crappy fuel like ethanol?
Ethanol isn’t really a crappy fuel; although somewhat less dense and more caustic than gasoline, it burns fine in properly designed engines. It might be easier chemically (and politically) to convert the unnamed intermediate “synthetic gas” to ethanol than to another fuel. It also might make for some interesting but crowd-pleasing flavors of mixed drinks at the local bar.
You can bet tax money factors into their economic viability.
Don’t forget how ethanol absorbs moisture. It’s a crappy fuel. Syngas can be converted into real fuels like gasoline and diesel.
Less than a dollar a gallon? Bring it on - less money for the muslims and russians.
Interesting...we’ll see how it goes.
Ethanol for a buck = 100 proof Vodka for 10 cents a fifth .... sure.
Rush to get in on this one folks.
Just read this elsewhere. I think I’ll take a look at their site, and see how reasonable they sound.
“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”
Drink enough of the latter and you won’t go anywhere...ha.
Looks like an Indian got the deal while cynics and Luddites scoff.
Well, either they’re screwing us (and our government) or they’re reputable....and getting a kick-off to something good.
Time we’ll tell.
“Range Fuels announced February 28, 2007 that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded the company up to $76 million to build the first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant in the U.S. at a site near Soperton, Georgia. The DOE awarded Range Fuels the grant after a rigorous competitive process that included a detailed technology review, an assessment of the availability of nearby renewable and sustainable non-food biomass feedstock supplies, and an evaluation of the company’s ability to successfully commercialize and replicate the project at other locations.”
Great, another process that uses more energy that it makes, and provides a less efficient fuel than gas. We just need to get rid if the commie environmentalists, and we have all the fuel we need.
If it’s using wastes for feedstocks, fine, but croplands should not be used for fuel production. Ethanol is not a good fuel, either.
Cudzu is the answer!!!!
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