Washington, D.C. [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has included Pacific Ethanol in a matching award totaling $24.32 million to build the first cellulosic ethanol demonstration plant in the northwest United States. The plant will employ a technology to produce ethanol from wheat straw, wood chips and corn stover and will be co-located at the site of Pacific Ethanol’s existing corn-based ethanol facility in Boardman, Oregon.
The pilot plant, which will be designed to produce 2.7 million gallons of ethanol annually, will demonstrate the potential of a technology developed by BioGasol ApS to produce ethanol from a diverse mixture of biomass that is readily available in the area of the Boardman plant. Current plans call for the plant’s completion in 4th quarter 2009 and matching criteria will include in-kind contributions that will be finalized with further negotiations with the DOE.“Pacific Ethanol is committed to being a leader in developing new methods to convert a variety of biomass resources into ethanol. Success in this industry-wide effort to commercialize cellulose to ethanol technology will allow our country to replace a significant proportion of imported oil with U.S. produced renewable resources and reduce CO2 emissions by millions of tons annually, delivering long term value to the economy, the environment and our shareholders,” said Neil Koehler, CEO of Pacific Ethanol.