Range Fuels to construct its first cellulosic ethanol plant in Georgia
Range Fuels will hold a ground breaking ceremony this summer in Treutlen County, Georgia for a 100-million-gallon-per-year cellulosic ethanol plant that will use wood waste from Georgia’s forests as its feedstock. Phase 1 of the plant is scheduled to complete construction in 2008 with a production capacity of 20 million gallons a year.
While most domestic ethanol production requires corn as a feedstock, Range Fuels’ proprietary process does not. The U.S. Department of Energy, in their joint report with the USDA, 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 company’s technology completely eliminates enzymes, which have been an expensive component of cellulosic ethanol production. Range Fuels’ thermo-chemical conversion process, the K2 system, uses a two-step process to convert the biomass to synthesis gas, and then converts the gas to ethanol.
The company selected Georgia for its first plant based upon the abundance of forest refuse and the renewable and sustainable forest industry.