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BlueFire Building US's First Commercial Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

Back in the beginning of June we talked about BlueFire’s hopes to build their first commercial scale plant in California. Well, they just got the go-ahead from the county of Los Angeles to begin construction on 10 acres next to the Lancaster landfill. They’re expecting it to be the US’s first biowaste-to-ethanol plant of this scale, though others are breathing down their necks for similar “firsts” spots.

BlueFire hopes to have the plant up and wow it's great online pharmacy levitra running by the end of 2009, converting about 170 tons of woody and grassy grossness dumped daily into as much as 3.2 million gallons per year…just a portion of the order cheapest viagra online 3 billion gallons they hope to produce from as many as 20 similar plants by 2017.

The permits and plans fly in the face of all the ethanol plants that are losing ground – mainly this is possible because BlueFire uses a non-food-based fuel for creating ethanol. No one wants to eat garbage, and using landfill land is far less controversial than using farm land.

With the push to use cellulosic ethanol more and more as a sustainable fuel source, including for jets, BlueFire is sure to have a strong consumer demand to fill – DuPont and Genencor estimate the market for non-food based fuel will eventually be worth $75 billion. I don’t doubt it.

Via Earth2Tech, Denver Post

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Comments (8)Add Comment
Good idea!
written by Randy Morobitto, July 25, 2008
I've read a bit about ethanol for cars; love the idea!

I'm not really a greenie, BUT if it works with lees pollution, then cool. Also, it might force gas prices down, because there's been absolutely ZERO competition to oil-based fuels, so that's another plus.
written by dialtone, July 25, 2008
take all waste streams - all garbage (except metals) all sewage solids & by the "Anything Into Oil" process you have diesel fuel, minerals, methane & water vapor
the simplest is the best
Burining too
written by Tim, July 25, 2008
A really good idea. MSW (municipal solid waste) is quite literally a growing problem in many areas (e.g. Hawaii's plan to ship their garbage to a landfill in Oregon), but plans like this show how garbage can in fact provide solutions! I would like to see more of these operations around the country, but even better I think are ideas to burn MSW to produce electricity, which is ultimately a more efficient energy resource than ethanol:
written by w, July 26, 2008
@ Randy Morobitto

Whether it's made from garbage or plant waste (cellulose), ethanol is great because it's easy to convert existing engines to run on best indian cialis it.

Also, talking about the cialis generic recommended future of plug-in electric hybrid cars, we could use waste generated, cellulose generated, or some other form of ethanol for long range trips.

While we are waiting for technology and infrastructure to catch up, what we should do is start producing new cars (hybrid and conventional) that run on natural gas instead of gasoline. Natural gas is abundant and is cheaper and cleaner for the environment than oil, and even reducing the oil demand by just 10% would have a huge impact on prices. Then in the future, we can use some combination of click here cialis online canada ethanol, hydrogen, and/or natural gas for cars. All three fuels can be made from renewable, carbon-neutral sources of energy. It's just going to take the political will and a lot of scientific and technology ingenuity to do this, but it can be done. The quicker we get this moving, the less painful it will be.

Oh, and btw, everyone needs to cialis buying online be a "greenie". You don't have to be extreme about it, but it is the responsibility of EVERYONE to keep our only planet the beautiful place it is for our children and grandchildren. The earth is levitra 20 mg suffering pretty bad right now between widescale, terrible pollution, climate change, the rainforests being cut down, and the extreme amount of garbage and waste being burried all over the planet.

That said, we don't need to destroy the enter site woman and viagra economy or make unimaginable sacrifices to keep our planet nice. We have the technology and ingenuity to fix all our problems. We just need the will to do it.

Obama '08

written by Flahooler, July 26, 2008
While converting waste to ethanol is a fine idea, I have to take issue with BlueFire's process. They use concentrated acid hydrolysis to pretreat the feedstock prior to cialis 100 mg fermentation and distillation. Enzymatic processes, in my opinion, share too many of the characteristics that make corn-based ethanol undesirable. Their only real advantage is that they use waste products rather than food crops for feedstock.

In contrast, plasma gasification processes such as those being used by the likes of Coskata, Range Fuels, and Fulcrum Biofuels are able to bypass the costly pretreatment steps and do not require significant amounts of cialis how much fresh water like enzymatic processes. These companies are planning for commercial-scale production in the 2010-2011 timeframe at a price point of less than $1 per gallon. Ultimately, I think the lower cost of plasma gasification is going to win out over enzymatic processes such as BlueFire's.

Kudos to them for advancing the technology, though. Maybe it will prove viable after all.
Good points by Flahooler
written by chemrat, July 26, 2008
One of the big problems with ethanol production is the amount of water it uses. Cellulosic starting materials are far far better than the completely wrong-headed use of corn and similar crops to make ethanol. There are also plans and methods to make hydrogen from cellulosic starting materials. The residue from this process is called agrichar (see articles by Sam Carana, some cited on my blog) and can be added back to fields for fertilizer and mineral nutrients. So, there are a number of interesting and clean, green uses of cellulose. It is good to see them start to be commercialized. I'd rather move away from liquid fuels to electric cars or plug-in hybrids, but ethanol from a sensible source certainly has a number of reasonable qualities. Thanks for the post. Jim
written by chemrat, July 27, 2008
I guess it didn't help to cite Sam Carana's articles as mentioned in my blog if the buying viagra without a prescription link to the blog didn't show up! Sorry about that. See

Best wishes.
written by derek, July 28, 2008
Bluefire's process is acid hydrolysis..not enzyme based. Totally different technology that is producing ethanol for less than $1.00 gallon now, recycling their water , while powering their own pilot plant with byproducts of good choice canadian pharmacy scam lingin and...something scientist myself, but this is what they report.

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