While we’ve been listening to people talking about when someone will build a commercially viable cellulosic ethanol production plant one company has actually gone ahead and done it. That’s what KL Process Design Group claims. I met with their leadership team at the Cellulosic Ethanol Summit. Pictured are (L-R) Dave Litzen, Tom Slunecka, Randy Kramer and Steve Healey.
I sat down with Dave and Randy for an interview to learn more about how they’ve been able to accomplish this. For one thing they’ve been working with the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, the Wyoming Business Council and the Wyoming Department of Forestry. Through experimentation and research they’ve been able to produce ethanol from their Western Biomass Energy plant in Upton, WY. They get their feedstock from ponderosa pine wood chips/waste in the foothills of the Black Hills of Eastern Wyoming. Basically, they’re not only making ethanol from the wood waste but they’re helping with the forest management which includes thinning to prevent forest fires. That sounds like a two-fer to me.
They’re going to be going at this cellulosic business in a kind of non-traditional way as you’ll hear in the interview. For example, they’re looking at smaller plants and customers who have a need to take care of waste products that pile up and become a problem like wood mills and anyone involved in silviculture. This means that the ethanol they produce will come from many sources. I think you’ll find the interview very interesting.
You can listen to my interview with Randy and Dave here: [audio:http://www.zimmcomm.biz/ethanol/cellulosic-summit-07-kl-process.mp3]