BlueFire Ethanol Fuels of California has been given the go-ahead to build the nation’s first commercial biowaste-to-ethanol facility in Los Angeles County.
The county’s regional planning commission unanimously agreed to issue a zoning permit to BlueFire Ethanol to build a $30 million facility in Lancaster, located north of Los Angeles. The plant will be built next to a landfill and construction is scheduled to begin in the fall.
BlueFire Ethanol selected the Lancaster location because an estimated 170 tons of biowaste material, including woodchips, grass cuttings and other organic waste, already passes by the property every day. The plant is also designed to use reclaimed water and lignin, a byproduct of the production process, in order to produce its own electricity and steam.
The new facility will use BlueFire’s commercially-ready concentrated acid hydrolysis technology process which could convert the waste into as much as 3.2 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year.