Agriculture florida ethanol

Published on August 14th, 2013 | by Jo Borrás


Florida’s Newest Ethanol Plant Makes Energy from Garbage

August 14th, 2013 by  

A new facility in South Florida is turning organic garbage and yard clippings into fuel-grade ethanol, and is ramping up to deliver more than 8-million gallons of renewable, sustainable, low-emissions ethanol by the end of 2014. I originally covered the story over at Gas 2, and have reproduced for Cleantechnica, below. Enjoy!

Florida ethanol from garbage

A new ethanol production plant is set to open in Florida this month that promise of a new industry producing fuel out of everything from grass to garbage. The news is a milestone for the renewable fuels and ethanol industries, which have been dogged by bogus, GOP-backed claims that the current methods of making fuel from corn and sugar raises food prices.

Despite contradictory assertions from meat producers that ethanol production isn’t a factor in rising food prices and an ever-widening price gap between ethanol and federally-subsidized gasoline, however, the idea has “stuck” in most people’s minds. INEOS Bio’s new Florida plant hopes to sidestep those concerns and cash in on the growing consumer demand for ethanol at home and abroad.

“One of the frustrations of the policy debate has been the comment that, ‘It’s not here yet, no one is producing yet,’ ” said Peter Williams, chief executive of INEOS Bio, in an interview. Now, he said, “it’s arriving. It’s here.”

The INEOS plant heats organic materials in collected organic waste materials (food, yard clippings, etc.) which produces a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Bacteria feed on the heated waste to ferment the gas and create ethanol. The company says it intends to begin selling ethanol to US fuel companies and plans to release its first shipments later this month. “Everything we’ve done validates our views of the technology,” Williams added. “It reinforces our views of it being a very attractive value proposition as a technology for converting waste materials into bioethanol and energy. Into power, as well.”

“We expect to spend the remainder of 2013 putting the plant through its paces, and demonstrating (that the plant can reach its official capacity of eight million gallons per year)”, said Mr. Williams in the company’s official news release. “All that we have seen so far validates the technical and economic viability of the technology.” While 8,000,000 gallons sounds like a big number to me, the production would still meet only a tiny fraction of the total demand – which seems obvious once you consider that the US consumed nearly 13 billion (BILLION!) gallons of ethanol in 2012.

Sources | Photos: the Wall Street Journal, Ethanol Producer Magazine.

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About the Author

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the Important Media network. You can find me on Twitter, Skype (jo.borras) or Google+.



    • Bob_Wallace

      No all caps please.

  • Doug

    I don’t think I agree with the author on this one. It’s not just the GOP that doesn’t like ethanol. Using food for fuel consumes massive quantities of fresh water, requires clearing untold acres for farmland, and is harmful for engines. It’s bad economics, bad for the environment and is bad for consumers. All Americans, both GOP and the DEMs have strong reasons to oppose corn-based fuel.

    Now, if you have some ideas for bio-fuel from scrap waste products, that might make a bit more sense.

  • I wonder if it would be easier/better to make methane instead?


  • Wayne Williamson

    Awesome….Living in Florida, my grass clippings amount amount to over three 30 gallon garbage cans a week during the wet months. In the dryer months, I probably end up with that much in leaves. There are some brief periods in between where there is none…

  • MikeSmith866

    This shows great promise. But what is the price per gallon?

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