Closed-Loop Ethanol Plant to Start Production

The first closed-loop system for distilling commercial quantities of ethanol using methane gas recaptured from cow manure is set to begin production next month in Mead, Nebraska. The plant’s technology will virtually eliminate the need for fossil fuels in the production of ethanol.

The closed-loop system — derived from an exclusive patent co-owned by an affiliate of E3 BioFuels — combines a 25-million-gallon ethanol refinery, beef cattle feedlot and anaerobic digesters to maximize energy efficiencies unavailable to each component on a stand-alone basis. This system eliminates the potential for manure to pollute watersheds, and it enables the wet distiller’s grain from ethanol production to be fed on-site to cattle without energy-intensive drying and transportation costs. In the October edition of Wired Magazine, venture capitalist Vinod Khosla wrote, “It may surprise you to learn that the most promising solution to our nation’s energy crisis begins in the bowels of a waste trough, under the slotted concrete floor of a giant pen that holds 28,000 … beef cattle.” Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, continues, “E3 BioFuels is about to fire up the most energy efficient corn ethanol facility in the country: a $75 million state-of-the-art biorefinery … The output: a potential gusher of renewable, energy-efficient transportation fuel.” “The Genesis plant at Mead will be the first to market ethanol produced from closed-loop, self-sustaining ethanol technology by at least a year or two, in comparison to any other competitors,” said Dennis Langley, Chairman and CEO of E3 BioFuels. “This plant will make ethanol more than twice as energy-efficient as any other method of producing ethanol or gasoline.” E3 BioFuels-Mead has named the plant Genesis to celebrate that it’s the first commercially viable facility on the planet to use this new technology — which officially begins production in December 2006 — as well as signifying the birth of a revolution in energy production. “This is the new low-cost alternative for meeting America’s energy needs with domestically produced ethanol,” Langley said. “E3 BioFuels’ system enables America to take a giant leap from the oilfields of the Mideast to the cornfields of the Midwest. The future is now, the future is here — with the opening of the E3 BioFuels-Mead’s Genesis plant.” “The Genesis plant effectively serves as a diligent steward of the environment — producing a clean-burning motor fuel, solving water run-off pollution from agricultural wastes, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” added Langley. Langley said E3 BioFuels plans to build 15 more such plants near feedlots and dairy farms, of increasing size, within the next five years.
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