May 13, 2006

LOUISIANA: Cellulosic Feedstock Conversion Deployments

The process of converting sugar cane into either sugar or ethanol results in a biomass waste product called bagasse. Many research efforts have tried to find a renewable fuel use for bagasse. An obvious use is to burn it, as they do in Brazil, but the carbon dioxide emissions offsets the benefit of any heat or electricity that would be co-generated during the process.

Recently there have been two press releases for new biorefineries in Lousiana that intend to convert corn and sugar cane (using sugar fermentation) and the bagasse (using catalysts or enzymes) into ethanol and other renewable products.


Jennings Project using Celunol Technology

Celunol Corp. is developing a 55-million gallon ethanol production facility in Jennings, Louisiana.

By working with the University of Florida and acquiring other technology, Celunol has developed a unique technology to release the sugar potential of cellulosic biomass.

Celunol's landmark technology is based on the metabolic engineering of microorganisms. The key element of Celunol’s technology is genetically engineered strains of Escherichia coli bacteria that are capable of fermenting into ethanol essentially all of the sugars released from all types of cellulosic biomass. This enables Celunol to achieve the required efficiency to make the process commercially feasible.

Feedstocks That Can Be Used With Celunol Technology

Celunol expects that its technology will be able to convert almost any type of cellulosic biomass material to ethanol. Examples of these feedstocks are:

Agricultural Residues
Rice straw
Corn stover
Wheat straw

Agricultural Wastes
Sugarcane bagasse
Rice hulls
Corn fiber
Sugar beet pulp
Citrus pulp
Citrus peels

Forestry Wastes
Hardwood and softwood thinnings
Hardwood and softwood residues from timber operations

Wood Wastes
Saw mill waste
Pulp mill waste

Urban Wastes
Paper fraction of municipal solid waste
Urban wood waste
Urban green waste

Dedicated Crops
Hybrid poplar wood


BioEnergy International Commences Site Work on 108 Million Gallon Ethanol Project

BioEnergy International, LLC ("BioEnergy"), a company developing proprietary technologies to produce ethanol and specialty chemicals from traditional feedstocks as well as lignocellulosics, announced today that it has commenced site work on its first biorefinery, a 108 million gallon per year ethanol plant located on land leased from the Lake Providence Port Commission in East Carroll Parish, Louisiana.

Initially the plant will produce ethanol from corn using conventional technology designed by Delta-T Corporation, a leading, innovative designer of alcohol plants, systems and technology. BioEnergy intends to rapidly introduce its proprietary technology to produce fuels and specialty chemicals using organic wastes such as bagasse, rice hulls and wood in addition to corn. BioEnergy has a pipeline of projects in various stages of development representing over 400 million gallons of annual ethanol production.

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Anonymous said...


The research underway in Bend Oregon includes the conversion of "bagasse" to compounds of sucrose, including but not limited to, sucrose-acetate-isobutyrate, SAIB, used as a replacement plasticizer in paints, inks, coatings and graphic arts compounds. The SAIB replaces dibutyl phthalate, DBP, a suspect carcinogen.

We must remember that other "chemisries" can be produced from biomass, not just "fuels".

Bill Petrich
Western Resource Management Inc.
Bend Oregon

C. Scott Miller said...

Without question there are other target applications than just biofuels production that can result from bioconversion processes.

While the principal focus here is on ethanol, the paradigm shift away from petroleum energy will have substantial dividends in terms of new products, byproducts, and services. And the new alternatives will likely be less toxic and more biodegradeable than petroleum-based products. Who will be the Washington Carver of bioconversion - spawning new industries from expanding bio-based discoveries.

Anonymous said...

How many pounds of sugarcane bagasse is needed to make 1 million gallons of Ethanol?

C. Scott Miller said...

The rule of thumb is roughly 100 gallons/ton. So that would mean about 10,000 tons - or 20,000,000 lbs.

Unknown said...

Yes ! you have delivered a valuable information that what is the "bagasse" and how it will be used. Thank you.


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