Bioenergy

Demonstration Cellulosic Ethanol Plant Slated for Florida

The University of Florida (UF) has selected Florida Crystals Corporation’s Okeelanta facility as the site to build a cellulosic ethanol research and demonstration plant in Palm Beach County. In a unanimous vote on Tuesday the university selection committee chose Florida Crystals from a list of bidders to construct a cellulosic ethanol plant that will produce 1 million to 2 million gallons of ethanol a year.

This $20 million project is financed through a state grant to encourage the development of renewable energy resources. Technology developed by UF professors will be used to convert sugarcane bagasse and other biomass into ethanol.

“This partnership is an important step in developing reliable, clean energy resources for Florida,” said Gaston Cantens, Vice President of Corporate Relations for Florida Crystals. “We are committed to the development of renewable sources of energy. We are excited about this collaborative project with UF and hopeful that it will help our state move forward in expanding renewable energy alternatives and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

Fueled by sugarcane and yard trimmings, Florida Crystals generates clean electricity to run its operations. Florida Crystals also partnered with Florida International University earlier this year to do additional cellulosic ethanol research.