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View Full Version : New cellulosic ethanol plant claims it will make a billion gallons a year from wood



Bill
02-13-2007, 04:18 PM
More ethanol news from boing boing:

http://www.boingboing.net/2007/02/12/khosla_backs_new_woo.html

From the blog which broke the news:

"Range Fuels, Inc., a cellulosic ethanol company, today announced it will build its first ethanol plant in Treutlen County, Georgia. Founded by Menlo Park, California-based Khosla Ventures, Range Fuels estimates that this plant – combined with others to follow – will have the capacity to produce over 1 billion gallons of ethanol per year. The first plant will create over 70 new jobs for the area.

Wood waste from the state’s millions of acres of indigenous Georgia Pine will be the main source of biomass for the ethanol production.

While most domestic ethanol production requires corn as a feedstock, Range Fuels' proprietary process does not. It also completely eliminates the use of enzymes, which have been an expensive component of traditional cellulosic ethanol production. Its innovative and proprietary technology transforms otherwise useless products such as wood chips, agricultural wastes, grasses, and cornstalks as well as hog manure, municipal garbage, sawdust and paper pulp into ethanol through a thermo-chemical conversion process. The company's system, K2, uses a two step process to convert biomass to a synthetic gas and from there, convert the gas to ethanol."

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I wonder if they mean to _methanol_ - which is fairly easily made by the incomplete combustion of cellulose and lignin. Methanol is nearly as good a fuel as ethanol, altho it's more poisonous.

Anyway, sounds good. As I recall the hemp people wanted to use this method toi turn hemp into fuel, and it works with literally all burnable organic wastes.

Turning biomass wastes into fuel sounds a lot smarter than turning corn into fuel. The same method could be used to turn permaculture grasses into fuel also.

stefan segal
02-13-2007, 05:41 PM
Bill..thee guys play close to the chest. They mention aenerobic process, but then speak of their percentage of ethanol per unit imput is more than other processes...then the kicker...eliminates the use of enzimes...and also, the process is self sustaining.

Sounds to me that there is at least one major lie in this pitch.

It does sound like the methanol process...and that is a far cry better than ethanol...but if so...why don't they sell it as such?? Methanol is less caustic and has higher octane (the 80% pure=one distilling cycle) per volume than ethanol and relieves much of the evaporation problem.

I'd like to see a follow up on this...I smell a rat in the woodpile.

Stefan

exarmyranger
02-13-2007, 09:09 PM
Yo Bill,your post on methanol brought to mind a friend/neighbor,I knew back in the 80's(79,80,81,82)in sommerset county N.J..Charlie's and my property shared 1/4 of a fence bordering 5 acre's.One afternoon I stopped at the local Watering hole,and took a stool next to him at the bar."Hey Bo.,howed you like a couple of rabbit's,with cage's,for free"."Your kids will love em"...What? Oh whose rabbits are they?"Thier mine,you want em?Naw Charlie,I have 2 dog's,1 cat,3 horses,a goat,and thats more pets than my kids need,now...skip forward 6mo.Hey Charlie,ever get rid of the rabbits?Bo,come check this out...we walked the 100yrd.'s to his horse barn/stables,southern face,and the length(75ft.)was coverd from 3ft above ground to 1 1/2-2ft.below the rafter tails with wood & wire cages containing rabbits,mother rabbits nursing,tiny new,and bigger/older babies,a few bucks(males)in seperate cages.What in the $^%#!.Charlie began explaining"A friend of the ole womens,gave her the name,and ph.#of this guy in Penn.who is in the rabbit busn.The two I kept(ya know...kids.)mated and one day 2 turned into 6,then 5 more before the the 1st.4 were weened.So i call the guy and ask would he like to have them?4free just come get em.He was laughing,then asked what breed?Uhh white?haha,white huh..."Yeah"Look gimme your address and I'll send you some info.on commercial rabbit farming...But I...aww why not, thanks.The infopac.coverd the rab.biz from what you need to start.size,placement,materials for cages,general health,breeding,harvesting,storage/sale of skin's,& meat,ect.Damn this is a becoming an awfully long short story!Within two years Charlie was supplying Fresh Milk-Fed Rabbit to up scale resturants,and gourmet food shoppes,all over the country.As well as the skins/fur and (well where did you think they came from) feet to clothier's,and wholesale houses(the feet)that supply items for Carnival,theme/amusement parks/ect.By his 3rd yr. in the rab.biz he heard about a chicken farmer,who was running,his,well(water)pump,lighting,and fans by a generator powered by chicken shit turned into methane.After some research,and personal enquiries(to people using the fuel).He found that rabbit doodoo,was the best base matierial for methenol production.(due to the amounts of nitrogen,ammonia,and that it's much less odiferous than most animal waiste)To end this long boring story.Within 5yrs.Charlie was producing (After close to a $10,000.investment for proccessing equiptment)enough methanol to light his home,barn,and after (what he called a few minor changes)his 20yr.old John Deere tractor'and older by the look of it Ford front end loader.He retired from his job/career,as a communications systems anallist,to devote more time to his rab.biz,and fishing off of his new 37ft.Sport Fishing boat.5yrs.after 2 rabbits,he spends 60% less on power cost's.Records net profit of $60,000.oo anually...not bad for 1980's...ex

stefan segal
02-14-2007, 10:43 AM
The interesting thing about the methanol process is, that in driving the gasses off the charge material, the residue is charcoal...which can then be burnt in air, to drive off the gases and create more charcoal.

I haven't found any ratios that say how much new fuel for heat distillation is required above the charcoal produced in the process, but I did note in your article that it inferred a "self-feeding" eventuality. Weasle words...but does indicate to a methanol porcess.

The ethanol aenerobic distillation process, on the other hand, does NOT have a use of it's production "wastes", and worse...creates toxic piles of mash sludge...that will sooner or later, find its way into our rivers and ocean.

Whatever...I give a thumbs up...with a cautionary to keep an eye on this process, as they claim an output far exceeding the energy of wood celulose, and include aenerobics in it's production...belieing the claim of no bacterial strain...noting the expense of fermantation process.

There is existing in long use, the aenerobic methane generators, but the cost of liquifying a gas would make it too costly...ti produce, transfer, and store in individual vehicles

Something to watch. Has promise, but is being sold exactly like a con.

Stefan

exarmyranger
02-14-2007, 10:21 PM
The interesting thing about the methanol process is, that in driving the gasses off the charge material, the residue is charcoal...which can then be burnt in air, to drive off the gases and create more charcoal.

I haven't found any ratios that say how much new fuel for heat distillation is required above the charcoal produced in the process, but I did note in your article that it inferred a "self-feeding" eventuality. Weasle words...but does indicate to a methanol porcess.

The ethanol aenerobic distillation process, on the other hand, does NOT have a use of it's production "wastes", and worse...creates toxic piles of mash sludge...that will sooner or later, find its way into our rivers and ocean.

Whatever...I give a thumbs up...with a cautionary to keep an eye on this process, as they claim an output far exceeding the energy of wood celulose, and include aenerobics in it's production...belieing the claim of no bacterial strain...noting the expense of fermantation process.

There is existing in long use, the aenerobic methane generators, but the cost of liquifying a gas would make it too costly...ti produce, transfer, and store in individual vehicles

Something to watch. Has promise, but is being sold exactly like a con.

StefanAhh Yes,the old if it sounds too good to be true,it probably is,adage.My,My yes indeed.Glad you pointed that out,yes...I'd almost forgotten yes...How fortuitous...Thank you,yes indeed.I must bid you a fond fare thee well,for I am expected at the bar,aah...board of chair.heh,heh share holders within the 1/4 hour.TaTa,mmm,indeed.Bye Mr.Fields :doh: Damn I forgot to ask for his autograph!A Dr.Erik Eweson(pronounced avis-son)developed a recycling system/machine,for turning municipal waiste straight from the container/truck (sorting not nessesary,the machine does that)into (at the last stages of proccess)a rich odorless (smells like topsoil)compost,in the 5%-5%-5% nutrient class,Good clean soil,for replenishment.In the final stage remaining element's are proccessed into (liquid) methane.France,Canada,New Zealand,perhaps others,were installing,or had already installed,from 1 upto 3 units (at cost) for a 5 year evaluation period.Dr.Eweson died of natural(old age)causes a short time after France fired up the 1st full size Municipal Waiste Recyclelator,in 82,or 83.I have no idea what the outcome of the evaluation was.I'm going to try a few search words,maybe find some reference to him...ex.

exarmyranger
02-14-2007, 11:31 PM
P.S.in case you wre wondering,The glass,is released in a ground,sandlike form,ready for melt.Metal's containing iron ore,along with copper,brass,lead are smelted and seperated.Alloys,aluminum,tin,ect.are seperated shreaded,compacted,and released.Gases omitted in smelting proccesses are stored and distilled for use in final stages of methenol production.vented steam/contains residual toxins but not in high enough levels to be a threat to public health.Plastics are consumed/incorperated in proccess as well.

stefan segal
02-15-2007, 01:05 AM
Ex. posted:A Dr.Erik Eweson(pronounced avis-son)developed a recycling system/machine,for turning municipal waiste straight from the container/truck (sorting not nessesary,the machine does that)into (at the last stages of proccess)a rich odorless (smells like topsoil)compost,in the 5%-5%-5% nutrient class,Good clean soil,for replenishment.In the final stage remaining element's are proccessed into (liquid) methane.France,Canada,New Zealand,perhaps others,were installing,or had already installed,from 1 upto 3 units (at cost) for a 5 year evaluation period.Dr.Eweson died of natural(old age)causes a short time after France fired up the 1st full size Municipal Waiste Recyclelator,in 82,or 83.I have no idea what the outcome of the evaluation was.I'm going to try a few search words,maybe find some reference to him...ex.
================================================== ======

I had stock in that company...lost a heap in the crash...the stock had three zeros after the point before the numbers began:)

It is/was(?) an interesting process...it might not have been the same outfit...now that I remember, mine had no connection with methane but produced steam for electric...trash to steam...but promised more...I can't recall now the ground breaking technology claimed... but it was fancy enough to snooker fools to investing their coin:)

Stefan

exarmyranger
02-16-2007, 10:26 PM
Ex. posted:A Dr.Erik Eweson(pronounced avis-son)developed a recycling system/machine,for turning municipal waiste straight from the container/truck (sorting not nessesary,the machine does that)into (at the last stages of proccess)a rich odorless (smells like topsoil)compost,in the 5%-5%-5% nutrient class,Good clean soil,for replenishment.In the final stage remaining element's are proccessed into (liquid) methane.France,Canada,New Zealand,perhaps others,were installing,or had already installed,from 1 upto 3 units (at cost) for a 5 year evaluation period.Dr.Eweson died of natural(old age)causes a short time after France fired up the 1st full size Municipal Waiste Recyclelator,in 82,or 83.I have no idea what the outcome of the evaluation was.I'm going to try a few search words,maybe find some reference to him...ex.
================================================== ======

I had stock in that company...lost a heap in the crash...the stock had three zeros after the point before the numbers began:)

It is/was(?) an interesting process...it might not have been the same outfit...now that I remember, mine had no connection with methane but produced steam for electric...trash to steam...but promised more...I can't recall now the ground breaking technology claimed... but it was fancy enough to snooker fools to investing their coin:)

StefanI dont think money/profits were Ewesons goal.His father-in-law was Secratary of the Treasurey under the Kennedy administration,and in the Time Magazines list of the top 100 richest men in the world.His name was Douglas Dillon,and Doris his only daughter recieved the bulk of his estate.60mil.and a few real estate holdings in europe one you've no doubt heard of is a vineyard/winery in france called Haut Breighon(Misspelled)as in Chaetue Brieon.He was a millionare already...when they wed.ex