Updated: 12/6/2006; 9:43:26 AM.

Future energy
Renewables, fuel cells, hydrogen, and efficiency

daily link  Monday, November 20, 2006

E3 BioFuels: "E3 BioFuels Genesis plant "will begin production in December 2006 at Mead, Nebraska, as the first-ever closed-loop system for distilling commercial quantities of ethanol using methane gas recaptured from cow manure, instead of fossil fuels. This virtually eliminates the need for fossil fuels in the production of ethanol.  [The plant] combines a 25-million-gallon ethanol refinery, beef cattle feedlot, and anaerobic digesters to maximize energy efficiencies unavailable to each component on a stand-alone basis. This system eliminates the potential for manure to pollute watersheds, and it enables the wet distillers grain from ethanol production to be fed on-site to cattle without energy-intensive drying and transportation costs. [CEO] Langley said. "This plant will make ethanol more than twice as energy-efficient as any other method of producing ethanol or gasoline.""  Seems a promising combination of biogas with liquid biofuel production.  A major failing of today's ethanol production is the reliance on natural gas for process heat, so that ethanol produces only 20% less greenhouse gas than gasoline.  By feeding the distillers grain byproducts of ethanol production to cows, and converting the cow dung to gas for process heat, the GHG savings are much higher.  The company plans to build ethanol plants at existing feedlots.  It helps that these commercial feedlots are under pressure to clean up their cow dung processing; that corn is already transported in volume to the feedlot; and that the distillers grain byproducts of ethanol production can be used onsite without transportation.  (See also Verasun's plans to use distillers grain to produce biodiesel, may also improve the GHG balance for ethanol.)
  11:27:46 PM  permalink  

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Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 12/6/2006; 9:43:26 AM.