The first ethanol plant to operate without the use of fossil fuels is scheduled to begin production before the end of the year in Nebraska.
E3 BioFuels has announced that the Genesis plant in Mead, Nebraska is “the first-ever closed-loop system for distilling commercial quantities of ethanol using methane gas recaptured from cow manure, instead of fossil fuels. This virtually eliminates the need for fossil fuels in the production of ethanol.”
According to a press release, The closed-loop system — derived from an exclusive patent co-owned by an affiliate of E3 BioFuels — combines a 25-million-gallon ethanol refinery, beef cattle feedlot, and anaerobic digesters to maximize energy efficiencies unavailable to each component on a stand-alone basis. This system eliminates the potential for manure to pollute watersheds, and it enables the wet distillers grain from ethanol production to be fed on-site to cattle without energy-intensive drying and transportation costs.