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  (Source: Macalester College)

  (Source: CSA)
Another step closer to reducing our carbon footprint

Inbicon, a developer of biomass refineries in Kalundborg, Denmark, has turned wheat straw into cellulosic ethanol and is calling it "The New Ethanol." To mass produce this ethanol, the company also announced its plan to open its first "Inbicon Biomass Refinery."

Ethanol is a fuel made from feedstock mixed with fossil fuels, which supply the heat and electricity to make it a fuel. But with the use of wheat straw, like Inbicon is using, fossil fuels are no longer needed. Waste dry solids like the lignin found in wheat straw, which is part of the cell walls of plants, provides both electricity and heat. The lignin is more potent than the cellulosic fuel itself with an energy density of 6.67 kilowatt-hours per kilogram.

While the cellulosic ethanol is fossil fuel-free, the plant it will be produced in is another story. Inbicon plans to power the Kalundborg cellulosic ethanol refinery with waste steam from Denmark's largest power station in Asnaes. Also, in an effort to carbon-neutralize the facility's exhaust, lignin will be "fed" into the coal plant. Blending lignin as fuel and waste steam to make carbon neutral feedstock fuel results in the production of both electricity and fuel, which makes the plant that much more useful. In addition, this method will cut carbon emissions from the Asnaes plant.  

The plant may not be a zero-emission facility, but it is a step in the right direction and does in fact reduce coal power plants' carbon footprint. According to Inbicon, the total energy efficiency of the Kalundborg refinery could increase by approximately 71 percent if they utilize the Asnaes' waste steam.

"We're producing not only The New Ethanol to replace gasoline, but also a clean lignin biofuel to replace coal," said Niels Henriksen, CEO of Inbicon. "But our renewable energy process is as important as our renewable energy products. The Inbicon Biomass Refinery can demonstrate dramatically improved efficiencies when integrated with a coal-fired power station, grain-ethanol plant or any CHP (combined heat and power) operation. Symbiotic energy exchange helps our customers build sustainable, carbon-neutral businesses."

Other power companies around the world are catching on to Inbicon's ideas as well. Three U.S. power generating companies are looking to integrate Inbicon's refineries with coal plants where these plants will individually produce 20 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol. 

The Kalundborg refinery is expected to make 1.4 million gallons of The New Ethanol per year, which makes it the largest cellulosic ethanol producer in the world. 


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RE: Stop The Green Con
By Reclaimer77 on 7/21/2010 7:48:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm all for biofuels that are economically viable on their own. The next vehicle I buy will be a diesel. And honestly I'll look into the potential of making my own biodiesel. Would be awesome if a company who makes biodiesel from algae created a "kit" to grow your own fuel at home.


Seems like an awful lot of work when I can just go and gas up for $2.50 a gallon or less.

You know what will happen when enough people start growing their own fuel at home, tax free, right? The Government will step in, claim it's a fire hazard or environmental risk - these homemade "diesel labs" - and ban or regulate it to the point that you REALLY aren't saving money.


RE: Stop The Green Con
By FITCamaro on 7/22/2010 9:48:34 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not saying it'll be feasible. Just it'd be cool if it was.

And yes I have no doubt the government would everything in their power to stop you from being self sufficient. Can't let people not need the government now can we.


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