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  (Source: Universal Pictures)
The Fulcrum Sierra BioFuels project will convert common garbage into ethanol for fuel

The U.S. government has backed the development of a new biofuel production facility in Nevada, which will convert trash into ethanol. 
The initiative is called the Fulcrum Sierra BioFuels project, and it is a subsidiary of Fulcrum BioEnergy Inc. from Pleasanton, California. The new biofuel facility, which will be built in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center in Storey County, will use common trash normally sent to landfills for the creation of ethanol for vehicle fuel. The idea is to use cleaner energy and reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil.
The project is expected to turn 147,000 tons of garbage into 10 million gallons of ethanol for fuel. Approximately 10 percent of fuel for cars and pickups is made up of ethanol while the other 90 percent is made up of gasoline. 
The Fulcrum Sierra BioFuels project received a $105 million federal loan guarantee from the Obama administration for its green efforts. The loan guarantee is being issued under the USDA's Rural Development Biorefinery Assistance Program, which was a portion of the 2008 farm bill.
"Today's announcement will mean hundreds of good-paying jobs and a continued commitment by Nevada to help reduce our dependence on oil," said Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.). "[It's] another important step in the right direction toward making Nevada and our country more energy dependent."
The new facility is expected to open up 430 construction jobs and 53 permanent jobs. 
The difference between the Fulcrum Sierra BioFuels project and other biorefineries is that the others have to grow corn, algae or use woody biomass while the Fulcrum uses the already-plentiful amount of trash available. Landfills are packed with garbage, and with 20-year contracts with Waste Connections Inc. and Waste Management, it won't take much for Fulcrum to get its hands on the amount needed to produce a hefty amount of ethanol. With agriculture, time is needed to grow the source, and it is also more expensive
After grabbing the garbage from these two waste companies, Fulcrum will then convert it to ethanol and sell it to Tenaska BioFuels LLC, where it will be marketed it to blenders in Nevada and California for fuel.
The facility is expected to be complete by 2015. 
While it looks like the facility could offer a couple of great benefits, like reduced oil dependence and more room in landfills, the project could take some heat from those that feel more energy-related loans are the last thing this country needs. 
Over the last year, several energy companies went bankrupt after receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in loans from the Department of Energy (DOE).
In September 2011, solar panel company Solyndra filed for bankruptcy after receiving a $535 million loan from the DOE in 2009. From there, Beacon Power, a company that creates flywheels to store power and increase grid efficiency by preventing blackouts, filed for bankruptcy after receiving a $43 million loan guarantee from the DOE in August 2010. Continuing on, battery maker EnerDel's Ener1 subsidiary filed for bankruptcy in January 2012 after winning an $118.5 million grant from the DOE in August 2009. Ener1 was supposed to develop batteries for electric vehicles.
Automakers have had issues when it comes to green loans, too. Fisker Automotive, for example, received $529 million in loans from the DOE, but the government froze the remaining $340 million last year after the Karma plug-in failed to meet certain milestones. 

Source: Huffington Post

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By FITCamaro on 8/7/2012 3:56:18 PM , Rating: 5
Who's brother/cousin/friend/roommate is a campaign contributor of someone in the House or Senate for this one?

RE: So....
By Brandon Hill on 8/7/2012 3:58:39 PM , Rating: 5
I smell Harry Reid

RE: So....
By Manch on 8/7/2012 4:12:07 PM , Rating: 3
So 14.7 tons for 1 gallon of ethanol? How much energy does that take?! What byproducts are left over? How Toxic is it?

Yeah, he smells like pork barrel garbage scented ethanol.

RE: So....
By WalksTheWalk on 8/7/2012 4:14:41 PM , Rating: 5
All ethanol smells like pork barrel. This one just happens to smell like pork barrel and garbage. If it weren't for subsidies and/or fuel mandates there would be no ethanol market.

RE: So....
By siliconvideo on 8/7/2012 4:17:05 PM , Rating: 2
And how much energy does it take to process that 14.7 tons of trash? I bets it's more then you can get from 1 gallon of ethanol.

RE: So....
By Samus on 8/7/2012 8:33:42 PM , Rating: 5
Where the hell are you guys getting this 14.7 tons figure from?

147,000 tons into 10,000,000 gallons of ethanol means it only takes 29.4lbs of trash to make a gallon of ethanol.

If you need me to explain the maths it took to figure this out, please for the love of God, repeat the third grade before you pollute the gene pool.

I don't even know why I read the comments here its as bad as Yahoo answers.

RE: So....
By Manch on 8/8/2012 1:54:04 AM , Rating: 4
When we read it, it said 10,000 not 10,000,000. Hence our WTF moment.

RE: So....
By Jeffk464 on 8/7/2012 7:56:09 PM , Rating: 2
No ethanol market?


RE: So....
By inperfectdarkness on 8/8/2012 1:36:38 AM , Rating: 3
you're right. we just have to distill the sewage from your average college dorm, and we'd have enough alcohol to power the entire new-england area for a decade.

RE: So....
By sigmatau on 8/7/12, Rating: -1
RE: So....
By JediJeb on 8/7/2012 6:39:06 PM , Rating: 2
Reid is awesome! He's exposing Romney as a tax cheat. All Romney has to do is release more than 1.5 years of tax returns (most release 5-10 years.) There must be something pretty terrible in those records for him not to. Even his father released 10 years of tax returns. Reid said it right that Romney father would be disappointed.

How about we make a compromise with the candidates, Romney releases his tax records and Obama releases his birth certificate, college transcripts an his thesis which have all been sealed.

No I am not a "Birther", but if one side is calling for full disclosure then why will they not follow the same rules. You can't ask your opponent to be an open book if you won't do it yourself.

RE: So....
By sigmatau on 8/7/12, Rating: 0
RE: So....
By Reclaimer77 on 8/7/2012 7:59:05 PM , Rating: 2
Obama's own Treasury Secretary is an admitted, self confessed, tax dodger. Obama himself fudged laws in Chicago to partner with a convicted felon in a housing scandal. And Reid? He made three million from the sale of a house, that he didn't even own!

Democrats don't care about honesty and integrity, yet they want to create a controversy over nothing. Romney paid his taxes and they know it. This is the dirtiest, most underhanded campaign by Obama that I've ever seen. Since he can't run on his record of failure and economic disaster, he's got to attack Romney for being rich and successful. Just more class warfare tactics.

If anyone believes it's even possible to make the level of income of Romney, and get away with not paying taxes for 10 years, they need help.

Keep watching the MSNBC there sigmatau, you're very informed clearly...

RE: So....
By Samus on 8/7/12, Rating: -1
RE: So....
By Reclaimer77 on 8/8/2012 8:12:55 AM , Rating: 3
It's sad that it took someone like Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and George W. to finally get this country to consider electing a black man to run it, which so far, I believe he's doing as good of a job as he can.

You know I was going to seriously reply to you, but I found this so offensive that I can't even bother. This line of thinking is so outdated it's not even funny. We would have gladly elected any number of African Americans, but you Democrats couldn't bring yourself to allow that so you torpedo'd them all! The only "black" candidates you would accept were ones in your own party! How is that equality exactly?

What's race have to do with anything anyway? What's wrong with you people. If Obama was green he would still be doing a terrible job.

Your whole trip trip is radically Liberal, race baiting, and just offensively ignorant.

RE: So....
By Samus on 8/8/12, Rating: 0
RE: So....
By FITCamaro on 8/8/2012 10:01:22 PM , Rating: 2
Well considering the liberal media viciously attacks all black conservatives, what the heck do you expect. We had some great conservative candidates and again the media struck.

If Allen West ever decides to run, and I hope he does, I can just imagine the attacks they'll levy on him. They'll call him a murderer and probably fabricate another marriage scandal which will miraculously disappear the second he drops out.

RE: So....
By ppardee on 8/8/2012 4:40:58 PM , Rating: 1
This isn't about whether Romney paid his taxes, it's about how much he paid. Every President and Presidential candidate in recent history has released at least three years of their tax returns by now. What is he hiding, and if he isn't hiding anything, why isn't he showing them?

So it's not about whether he committed a crime like so many in the Obama administration, its about whether you feel he was bled enough by the tax system?

You're saying it doesn't matter if he obeyed the tax law if he didn't pay as much as you think he should have? Talk about hypocritical... Democrats scream about fairness all day long and deny it to people they deem unworthy.

RE: So....
By FITCamaro on 8/8/2012 10:02:41 PM , Rating: 2
Cmon now. The fact that Obama's Treasury Secretary was proven not to pay his taxes is irrelevant. He's a Democrat. They can do no wrong.

RE: So....
By sigmatau on 8/7/2012 11:38:51 PM , Rating: 2
Um, who are you talking to? I was talking about Romney and Obama. If you would like to respond to what I said in a nonidiotic way, then please do. Until those other people run for President, you are talking nonsense. Of course many politicians on both sides do unethical things.

I'm just tired of the idiotic argument of if Romney shows his taxes, then Obama needs to show everything he has ever done ever. That is the most nonsense argument and you know it.

Obama showed his taxes, just like every presidential candidate since..... wait for it.... Romeny's FATHER 36 years ago. It is Romeny that is not playing on an even field, so make up whatever you want. Maybe you need to sleep with Obama to see if he is a good lover too? WTF!

RE: So....
By Reclaimer77 on 8/8/2012 8:25:24 AM , Rating: 2
I'm just tired of the idiotic argument of if Romney shows his taxes, then Obama needs to show everything he has ever done ever. That is the most nonsense argument and you know it.

Well I've never used that argument. Although I certainly WOULD like to see what's in those Fast and Furious documents that Obama claimed States Rights to.

Romney is doing the right thing by not releasing those tax returns. If he does, he's playing right into Obama's hands. Let's be clear, no matter what he does, it will be used by Obama to fuel this absurd negative campaign and smear tactic. The best thing he can do is keep focusing on the issues, Obama's failed record, and let this silly thing die on the ground.

He already showed some tax returns, and what did they do? Even though he paid millions in taxes and stayed within the law, they tried to create a controversy over it. Oh he should have paid more, he used loopholes, bla bla bla. Who the hell doesn't?

Obama’s argument seems to be, “If you owe everything you own to the federal government, then the federal government owns everything you own.”

Obama’s rhetoric on taxes reflect this world view. He has repeatedly referred to extending the current tax rates as a “trillion giveaway to the wealthiest Americans.” But how is letting people keep more of their own money a “giveaway” unless you believe that the federal government already owns all American income?

Obama want's this election to be some Marxist fantasy about the working class vs the evil rich capitalists. His tax returns, Bain Capital, and so forth. He should be campaigning on his plan for the next 4 years, and all the great reasons we should vote for him. But he obviously cannot do that, because his record has been abysmal so far as President. So he thinks he can win by making Romney look worst.

RE: So....
By sigmatau on 8/8/2012 1:06:19 PM , Rating: 2
He is playing into Obama's hands? What? Obama released his tax returns. So by your reasoning, Obama played into the hands of Romney or McCain? That is the most backwords argument too!

All Romney has to do is release his tax returns LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. You know he is hiding something. People have picked apart Obama's tax returns for nonsense things like not giving to charities. While Romney has made 20x or more during the same period, I wonder what could possibly be so scary.

He has only showed one full year of tax returns... the year he knew he would be running. He has also released his estimate for this year. And of course when people saw the tax returns and noted that Romney had one single deduction for HORSE CLOTHING that is more than what most people make in the US. You would have to be nuts not to look at that and be sickened.

So basicaly, he is running on the forum of reducing tax loopholes. I guess an expert like himself would be ideal? Like a person that has broken into houses is an expert in home security? That's brilliant!

RE: So....
By FITCamaro on 8/8/2012 10:03:43 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget now Romney kills women.

RE: So....
By Paj on 8/8/2012 8:26:05 AM , Rating: 2
If anyone believes it's even possible to make the level of income of Romney, and get away with not paying taxes for 10 years, they need help.

The only people that need help are those who actually pay their taxes. The richer you are, the better your accountants and lawyers, and the more loopholes you can exploit.

Your beloved corporate Armerica is even more culpable than individuals are, as they have even more money to hire an even bigger army of accountants and lawyers. GE made 5 billion profit in the US, and claimed a tax BENEFIT of 3.2 billion.

Thats right - they actually MADE MONEY back in tax. And this is perfectly legal, until the loopholes get closed.

This happens all over the world, bot just in the US. A comedian in the UK was recently busted for doing it. The father of the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, made his millions through tax avoidance back in the 50s and 60s before anyone else knew what it was.

If you think that Romney, and the private equity firm he was in charge of, and pretty much any individual or corporation who can afford the expertise required to exploit the many, many loopholes that exist, does not take advantage of these loopholes, then who really needs their head read?

RE: So....
By Reclaimer77 on 8/8/2012 8:41:56 AM , Rating: 2
If you think that Romney, and the private equity firm he was in charge of, and pretty much any individual or corporation who can afford the expertise required to exploit the many, many loopholes that exist, does not take advantage of these loopholes, then who really needs their head read?

I'm sure he did take advantage of tax loopholes. He would have been an idiot NOT to. My point is, so what?

So because Romney did what any of us do, pay the least legally owed taxes as possible, then what? He shouldn't be President?

You realize Obama did the same thing on his taxes right? He did everything he could to limit his tax liability and paid the lowest amount he could. So what? That doesn't make him a bad person or unfit for office.

Romney's tax returns are ultimately irrelevant to the Presidential race. If there was anything illegal there, he would have been audited a LONG time ago.

However his taxes are VERY relevant to Obama, who wants to keep focusing on his "everything you own is due to the Government" rhetoric and class warfare tactics against the rich, the corporations, against Capitalism.

RE: So....
By DFranch on 8/8/2012 8:45:33 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, I think dirtiest campaign I can remember was when Bush and Kerry ran against each other. Remember the whole swift boat BS. Here's a link That is by far the dirtiest thing I've seen in the last 20 years. Obama released his birth certificate last year to shut Trump up, in case you missed it. Oh, I suppose it is a fake or some other conspiracy.

RE: So....
By Reclaimer77 on 8/8/2012 8:53:02 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know why you brought that up, because I'm not a "birther". I don't even care about that.

Oh, I suppose it is a fake or some other conspiracy.

But you bring up Swift boats? Wasn't it other veterans who stood up about Kerry? You can't blame Bush for that.

RE: So....
By Paj on 8/8/2012 7:54:57 AM , Rating: 2
Obama releases his birth certificate

I dont normally resort to name calling, but you, sir, exhibit many qualities of an unimaginable moron.

RE: So....
By KCjoker on 8/7/2012 7:33:31 PM , Rating: 1
If he were doing something illegal IRS would've already gotten him. Reid is just a pos that is trying to divert attention from the horrible economy.

RE: So....
By sigmatau on 8/7/2012 7:41:59 PM , Rating: 1
That's where things get tricky. In 2009-2010, the IRS gave amnesty to people who evaded taxes by using offshore accounts. This is what Romney Hood is trying to hide.

RE: So....
By Reclaimer77 on 8/8/2012 6:53:22 PM , Rating: 2
So if the IRS gave him amnesty, how does that make Romney in the wrong?

I'm still trying to understand the problem here. In reality, there is none. People see what they want to see.

And here's a hint, parroting Obama's insult "Romney Hood" only shows how biased you are here. If allowing people to keep more of their own money is literally the same as "stealing" in your and Obama's mind, well no offense, but I don't think that's the sort of socialist attitude we need around here.

RE: So....
By FITCamaro on 8/8/2012 10:06:40 PM , Rating: 2
Well yeah. Don't you know all money belongs to the government? And you keeping more of it "costs" the government something?

RE: So....
By sigmatau on 8/7/12, Rating: 0
RE: So....
By sigmatau on 8/7/2012 11:40:36 PM , Rating: 1
Rate me down, you will still lose in November.

RE: So....
By FITCamaro on 8/8/2012 10:09:08 PM , Rating: 2
If Obama wins again, not only will it be disastrous for not just me, but you as well, it will show just how pathetically inept the American public has become.

RE: So....
By Motoman on 8/7/2012 4:44:34 PM , Rating: 2

Somebody show me the stats on this "refinery" - like how much energy input does it take to create a volume of ethanol? And what's the byproduct?

I would so *totally* be on board with a biofuel system that didn't f%ck up the food supply, or otherwise be stupid in some manner. But if 147,000 tons of garbage in = 10,000 gallons of ethanol out...something in there seems to be stupid.

RE: So....
By FITCamaro on 8/7/2012 4:55:39 PM , Rating: 2
The day we can convert grass clippings into ethanol effectively and efficiently will be a good day.

RE: So....
By Motoman on 8/7/2012 6:21:53 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, even that can be iffy...lemme explain:

Grass clippings on your lawn actually decompose and essentially become new dirt and/or fertilizer for the next round of grass. If you cut your lawn and haul away the trimmings all the time, eventually your dirt "dies" and nothing will grow there. Maybe that sounds to some people like I'm stretching it a bit...but kinda not. It's how the plant cycle works.

Same for corn stalks after the harvest...depending on where you are and what you're doing, you either harvest the stalks (nee silage) and feed them to pigs (still in the food cycle), or you plow them under so they can decompose in your soil and return value back to the dirt. Taking all your corn stalks out of the system and using them to make ethanol with screws both the food cycle and the plant cycle.

I've said before "make it happen with ditchweed" - and in a way, we probably care an awful lot less about what our ditchweed crop looks like...but you'd have to plan properly for the maintenance of that land if you're going to be harvesting its weed-crop - you'd have to make sure you left enough plant matter there to continue the plant cycle - otherwise all our roadways would be bordered by sand in a couple generations.

People talk about switchgrass or other stuff that can grow in areas where you can't grow traditional crops, so you're not mis-allocating tillable soil. Which begs the question of how, exactly, you're going to sow, manage, and harvest on land that we already can't sow, manage, and harvest on...if nothing else.

I think we really need to think more hardly about using resources (or what we think of as waste, like lawn clippings) for making biofuels from. It's too easy to upset some kind of important cycle somewhere.

Maybe algae farms in the desert is the answer. Maybe using offal from poultry processing is the answer.

I don't know. But I'm starting to get wary of pretty much anything that involves either the natural plant cycle, or our own food cycle.

RE: So....
By Jeffk464 on 8/7/2012 8:07:37 PM , Rating: 2
Plenty of treated human poop around you that you can use to build up your soil.

Still remember the Bandini mountain commercials of the guy skiing down the giant piles of sh*t. good times

RE: So....
By espaghetti on 8/8/2012 11:53:23 PM , Rating: 2
I've been bagging my grass clippings for 6 years.
One day the damn lawn won't need mowed because it will just die? I hate cutting the lawn. I'm going to keep bagging!! LMAO!!

RE: So....
By MadMan007 on 8/7/2012 6:54:05 PM , Rating: 2
Probably the same person who gets contracts in backroom deals for the government contractor which employs you.

RE: So....
By FITCamaro on 8/7/2012 11:39:57 PM , Rating: 3
I work on a project that is working to speed the time in which veteran's medical claims get processed by the VA.

If you have a problem with that, I'm sure there are veterans out there who would love to hear that opinion.

RE: So....
By MadMan007 on 8/8/2012 12:45:10 PM , Rating: 2
Red herring. The specifics of what you're doing are separate from how the contract was rewarded. I'm just applying the same cynical logic to your situation as you did in your first post.

RE: So....
By Jeffk464 on 8/7/2012 7:54:00 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't they come with a relatively practical way to burn trash and turn it into electricity. Something about getting the temperature high enough and you don't end up with toxic or overly polluting smoke.

Although this idea might not sound as crazy as you might think when you separate organic waste from the general trash like they already do in a lot of areas.

RE: So....
By FITCamaro on 8/7/2012 11:41:47 PM , Rating: 2
I remember seeing an article about a way to use plasma to take organic garbage and break it down into molecular components and harness energy in the process. Put out more energy than it took in. And created a glass like substance that could be ground up and used for roads.

Was several years ago and haven't heard anything about it since.

RE: So....
By Manch on 8/8/2012 2:03:33 AM , Rating: 2
The glass like substance thats inert. It does have the potential to become extremely toxic since those particulates are trapped in the "glass". There was a big article in POP-SCI. Ill try to find the link

RE: So....
By Paj on 8/8/2012 8:17:10 AM , Rating: 3
Yep, plasma gasification - a lot more efficient than straight up incineration. Its already in commercial use, not widespread at this stage, but its growing. I wouldn't be surprised if this company use this process.

The outputs are syngas, which can be burnt like regular gas, or refined further into ethanol, hydrogen, any hydrocarbon really. The other output is an inert 'slag' that can be used in building materials like cement - this comes from most of the inorganic waste used as feedstock.

The disadvantages are the technology is fairly immature - some of the materials used in the reactor have a short lifespan, so there is lots of room for improvement. The waste needs a large amount of sorting to get the best efficiency too.

But its a good deal more environmentally friendly than incineration, reduces landfill, produces fuel without foodstocks/foreign sources, low emissions.

Basically it has the hallmarks of an intelligent solution to two problems facing modern society.

Seems like a good idea
By BZDTemp on 8/7/2012 4:55:30 PM , Rating: 1
IF not it won't be long till the Grand Canyon will have to be used for landfills.

It's absurd that so little waste is recycled or reused for either making fuel or to produced energy when burned.

RE: Seems like a good idea
By FITCamaro on 8/7/2012 4:56:37 PM , Rating: 2
What are you talking about? We currently use less than 10% of the US's total land mass.

RE: Seems like a good idea
By ClownPuncher on 8/7/2012 6:48:03 PM , Rating: 2
Well, the plan is to falsely point out that national landmarks will be used for dumping grounds. Readers have emotional response and the debate is over.

RE: Seems like a good idea
By Jeffk464 on 8/7/2012 8:11:59 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but we use all of the prime land. There are millions of useless desert acres in the southwest, what do you plan on doing with them?

RE: Seems like a good idea
By FITCamaro on 8/8/2012 8:06:15 AM , Rating: 2
His supposition was that we are running out of space for dumps. Your statement only proves me even more right.

RE: Seems like a good idea
By Targon on 8/8/2012 8:10:24 AM , Rating: 2
Solar energy farms would work well out there in the desert. The key is to protect them or raise them high enough if/when there is a dust storm.

RE: Seems like a good idea
By JediJeb on 8/7/2012 6:45:43 PM , Rating: 2
This project won't reduce the landfill usage much, considering that with the numbers given the conversion rate by mass is 4.48%. That means for every 1000 tons of trash used in the plant, 955.2 tons of matter remains to be disposed of. The Law of Conservation of Mass is a bear to get around.

RE: Seems like a good idea
By JPForums on 8/8/2012 9:25:09 AM , Rating: 2
This project won't reduce the landfill usage much, considering that with the numbers given the conversion rate by mass is 4.48%. ... The Law of Conservation of Mass is a bear to get around.

I have a question as to how you got the 4.48% conversion rate.
The input is 147,000 tons of trash and the output is 10,000,000 gallons of ethanol + the left over waste.
1 gallon of ethonal = 6.584 lbs.
2000 lbs. = 1 ton.
10,000,000 gallons of ethanol = 65,840,000 lbs = 32,920 tons
32,920 tons is 22.4% of 147,000.
While I'd still love to see improvements, this is a fair bit more significant than your previous figure. However, if I understand it correctly, this conversion rate only applies to a subset (organic?) of garbage. If it is cost effective, then this is a great way to reduce waste and create usable energy at the same time. Otherwise, we need to take a very close look at whether the benefits are worth the cost.

RE: Seems like a good idea
By JediJeb on 8/8/2012 12:10:01 PM , Rating: 2
You are correct, I missed the conversion of 2000lb per ton from 1000kg per metric ton. I was starting with the 0.789g/ml density for Ethanol. Good thing I am not working for NASA or I would have lost another Mars probe :)

RE: Seems like a good idea
By PaFromFL on 8/8/2012 8:53:39 AM , Rating: 2
It does make sense to extract energy from trash if you can't figure out a way to recycle it. Personally, I'd rather see them generate electricity instead of producing ethanol. Projects like these may become standard operating procedure in the future. This seems like a valid function of the government, assuming moderately honest people are running the project (as opposed to a corporate handout/kickback scheme).

By puplan on 8/7/2012 5:13:27 PM , Rating: 2
It will turn 145,000 tons of trash into 10.5 million gallons of ethanol yearly (according to Fulcrum Sierra Biofuels, LLC application to USDA, September 6 , 2011). That includes power generated on site from trash to run the plant. Looks pretty good on paper!

By Adam M on 8/7/2012 7:28:18 PM , Rating: 2
It sounds good to me. It does sound good on paper and I hope for the best. I don't think ethanol is really the answer to any problem at this point given the downsides to its use in vehicles. However, if ethanol must be produced, then I would rather it kill 2 birds with one stone with the reduction of garbage in landfills and by replacing corn as a primary source. Corn ethanol is a waste of resources top to bottom and ultimately drives up the cost of food.

By wookie1 on 8/7/2012 10:00:54 PM , Rating: 2
You can tell that it's a financial loser, because they can't find anyone to voluntarily invest in the business. They use their friends in the gov't to force us to backstop the business plan.

By Paj on 8/8/2012 8:09:41 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, they've already found quite a bit of private equity investment. The loan guarantee basically allows them to secure a more favourable loan from the banks.

Numbers are off...
By JSwaid on 8/7/2012 5:12:13 PM , Rating: 2
"The company, a subsidiary of Fulcrum BioEnergy Inc. headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif., plans to convert 147,000 tons of municipal solid waste into 10 million gallons of ethanol annually at the new plant."

From the linked article.

147,000 Tons = 10,000,000 gallons.
So that's a bit better

RE: Numbers are off...
By Kenenniah on 8/7/2012 5:37:17 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize those numbers are exactly the same right?

10,000,000 gallons = 10 million gallons

RE: Numbers are off...
By Kenenniah on 8/7/2012 5:42:13 PM , Rating: 2
LOL, I thought one of the lines was from this article and one from the source. My bad, ignore my previous post.

By cruisin3style on 8/8/2012 1:43:21 PM , Rating: 2


By ppardee on 8/8/2012 4:42:49 PM , Rating: 2

We currently use ethanol in all consumer gasoline and have for a while. This would likely be used as an additive rather than the sole source of fuel.


By cruisin3style on 8/9/2012 5:39:06 PM , Rating: 2
While i appreciate your attempt at humor, you clearly aren't aware of the plans to increase the ethanol percentage in our gasoline we get from the pumps, or don't care that it is not an efficient source of energy.

Nice try tho I suppose

By danjw1 on 8/7/2012 5:02:54 PM , Rating: 2
This is a loan guaranty, which I don't believe actually costs anything, unless the loan isn't paid back. Green energy is a fairly risky business for now. It is only way these companies can get loans at reasonable rates.

Also, "The project is expected to turn 147,000 tons of garbage into 10,000 gallons of ethanol for fuel." Over what period of time? 10,000 gallons seems more like a proof of concept then real production. With the united states using 367.08 million gallons a day of gasoline that seems like a drop in the bucket. Source:

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