Texans in Sherman County can expect a new ethanol refinery. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has given Panda Ethanol the okay for an air permit for the company’s plans to build a 115 million gallon-per-year ethanol refinery. Panda says the refinery will be fueled by biomass.
The facility will be designed to annually refine an estimated 38 million bushels of feedstock-grade corn into a clean burning, renewable fuel for the nation’s transportation needs. The biofuel produced by the Sherman plant could displace approximately 2.6 million barrels of foreign oil a year.
Unlike other ethanol facilities which burn natural gas to generate the steam used in the ethanol manufacturing process, the Sherman facility will be engineered to gasify up to 1 billion pounds of cattle manure per year. By using biogas to fuel the plant, Panda is both conserving the energy equivalent of 1,000 barrels of oil a day and helping to address a significant environmental problem for the Texas Panhandle.
Once built, the Sherman refinery should be equal in size to Panda’s Hereford facility, currently nearing completion, which will be the largest biomass-fueled ethanol plant in the United States with one of the lowest carbon footprints of any similar-sized ethanol facility in the nation.