Commercial cellulosic ethanol output starts

INEOS Bio said it is producing cellulosic ethanol at commercial scale at a plant in Vero Beach, Fla., and will make its first shipment in August.

The plant has capacity to produce 8 million gal/year of ethanol equivalent with a process that converts biomass into syngas for fermentation into ethanol with naturally occurring bacteria.

Refiners and other fuel suppliers must sell ethanol and other fuels made from cellulose at rates set by law and adjusted yearly by the Environmental Protection Agency.

At the beginning of 2013, EPA identified the INEOS Bio plant as one of two US facilities likely to start commercial production of cellulosic biofuels this year.

The other facility, operated by KiOR Inc. at Columbus, Miss., also is in start-up. It uses a process similar to fluid catalytic cracking to convert biomass into “biocrude” that is upgraded into gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. Capacity is about 11 million gal/year.

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