Chemrec Exploring Biorefinery Sites in Georgia

Biomass-to-energy company Chemrec is evaluating pulp and paper mill sites in the state of Georgia to see if it would be possible to develop integrated fuels-from-the-forest black liquor gasification biorefineries at the mill. Chemrec biorefineries transform mills into producers of biofuels or biochemicals or even green electricity and power.

The Chemrec process completely alters the pulp mill competitive position by adding 30 to 50 percent of very profitable revenue with typical internal rate of return as high as 25 to 40 percent. It also makes needed reinvestment possible by replacing aging recovery boilers that have high maintenance costs and low performance. In many cases the fuels plant investment can also be used to provide additional recovery capacity allowing higher pulp production, the company said.

Mills producing as little as 500 tons of black liquor solids per day are viable as fuels-from-the-forest biorefineries using this method. Most mills are considerably larger. At the minimum capacity size, such a biorefinery mill would produce upwards of 8 million gallons a year of green motor fuel calculated as gasoline equivalents.

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