Colorado-based Range Fuels reports the successful production of cellulosic methanol using non-food biomass at a Georgia biofuels plant in the first phase of an operation to ultimately produce next generation ethanol.
According to a Range Fuels’ press release, this first phase uses heat, pressure, and steam to convert woody biomass and grasses into a synthesis gas composed of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. The syngas is then passed over a proprietary catalyst to produce mixed alcohols that are separated and processed to yield a variety of low-carbon biofuels.
“We are ecstatic to be producing cellulosic methanol from our Soperton Plant, and are on track to begin production of cellulosic ethanol in the third quarter of this year,” said David Aldous, Range Fuels’ President and CEO. The cellulosic methanol produced from Phase 1 will be used to produce biodiesel for transportation fuel markets. It may also be used in heating applications, as a fuel additive in gasoline-powered motor vehicles, or to power fuel cells.
Range Fuels plans to expand the capacity of the plant to 60 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels annually with construction to begin next summer. The Soperton, Georgia plant is permitted to produce 100 million gallons of ethanol and methanol each year.