A Florida sugar company is seeking a zoning change in Palm Beach county to allow it to produce cellulosic ethanol.
According to an article in the Palm Beach Post, Florida Crystals Corp needs a zoning change that would allow cellulosic-ethanol plants – factories that produce ethanol from plant waste rather than corn – to be built in areas already zoned for industry.
“There’s an ethanol train coming,” said Gaston Cantens, vice president of sugar producer Florida Crystals Corp.
“Without language in the county’s zoning code that allows ethanol to be an end product, we are not even in the game,” Cantens said Tuesday during a meeting with the Palm Beach Post editorial board.
A demonstration cellulosic-ethanol plant is slated to be built by the University of Florida at Florida Crystals’ Okeelanta mill and refinery south of South Bay. That doesn’t require a zoning change, Cantens said. The plant, which is expected to produce 1 million to 2 million gallons a year, is being funded by a $20 million state grant awarded to the University of Florida this past June.