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BlueFire Takes Fuel From Trash To Tank
|Traditional methods of producing ethanol generally revolve around the digestion of waste plant matter from farms, switchgrass, corn, or even rice husks. BlueFire Ethanol of Irvine, California, however, has plans to build a facility later this year that will be able to produce 3 millions gallons of ethanol each year, from trash. That's right, your unwanted waste might one day find its way into your fuel tank.|
Their current process, using sorted garbage can produce 70 gallons of fuel per ton of waste. They hope to improve this to reach 100 gallons per ton. Any way you look at it, it's good news. Trash is cheap, and by locating their plants next to landfills, which they are doing, their source of raw materials is right next door, meaning that expensive feedstock doesn't need to be trucked in. This allows the ethanol to be cheaper than traditional processes.
Instead of using microorganisms to break down plant matter, BlueFire is using a concentrated acid hydrolysis process, where sulfuric acid is sprayed onto the trash, which is then submerged in a bath and pressed. The resulting mash is then fermented into ethanol and the acid reclaimed to use again. In addition to the plant they are currently building, two more are in the works producing 17 and 55 millions gallons respectively.
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posted by CITIZEN POWER ALLIANCE at 8:42 AM - permanent link
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