Small-scale ethanol plants provide efficient waste-to-ethanol
Diversified Ethanol, a provider of clean tech solutions,
has introduced small-scale ethanol production plants that reduce water
use by up to 85% and use existing liquid waste products as feedstock
in the conversion process.
A state-of-the-art waste-to-ethanol process was recently introduced by
Diversified Ethanol Corporation, a company located in Burnsville, Minnesota.
Diversified Ethanol designs and builds small-scale, modular ethanol plants
that utilize existing waste as feedstocks which can be converted to ethanol
or biodiesel. As an example, breweries using the proprietary technology
can now convert their liquid waste into ethanol and create a new revenue
Design work has been completed and construction is set to begin on a
five million gallon-per-year plant for a major soda recycler in Southern
Using existing waste products as feedstock and delivering ethanol directly
to local communities eliminates the problems associated with the more
fuel-intensive crop-based feedstocks while reducing greenhouse gases.
The company’s Butterfield Closed Cycle System™ utilizes several technologies,
including ElectroHesion™, a proprietary water recycling system that reduces
water use by up to 85%. ElectroHesion effectively separates the solids
from the process water, insuring that the majority of the water can be
The design of the ElectroHesion uses a single chamber, continuous flow-through
design, that can treat from 10 to 2,500 gallons-per-minute and uses a
fraction of the electrical energy usually required.
According to a recent article in USA Today, city officials in Champaign
and Urbana, Illinois were concerned when a proposed ethanol plant would
require about 300 million gallons of water for processing the product
and cooling equipment, drawing from the aquifer that supplies both cities.
Furthermore, recent studies quoted by Science Magazine and other sources
are now reporting that conventional ethanol production actually contributes
more greenhouse gases than gasoline when you factor in land use and the
fuel intensive growing of crop based feedstock. Also adding to fuel cost
is the necessity to truck that ethanol across country from the Midwest
to the east and west coasts. However, most of these same studies conclude
that ethanol from waste is still a viable alternative.
There is a growing interest in on-site waste-to-ethanol production technologies,
that can convert waste products into ethanol. From citrus in Florida
to wood chips in the Northwest to potato waste in Idaho, each part of
the country has waste streams that can be converted to energy using cellulosic
and other innovative forms of production. This trend toward using various
waste products for ethanol eliminates the use of fossil fuel-intensive,
crop based feedstocks. Furthermore, being localized, these systems also
remove the need to ship the ethanol across country, further increasing
the efficiency of these sources of alternative energy.