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Ethanol from Citrus Peels

A Renewable energy company is starting a venture produce ethanol from waste citrus peels in Florida.

A good deal of buzz has centered around the production of ethanol from sources other than corn, such as corn stover, switchgrass, and straw. Add citrus peels to that list.

Xethanol Corp., a renewable energy company, said Wednesday that it will produce ethanol from waste citrus peels at a pilot facility in Florida.

Xethanol and its partner in the venture, Renewable Spirits LLC, aim to produce as much as 50,000 gallons of ethanol in the next harvesting season, with an eventual goal of half a million gallons annually. Production should begin in 2007.

The pilot plant will be co-located with an orange and grapefruit production facility. Half of citrus fruit is waste in juice processing, Xethanol says. The new venture will use a process developed with USDA to turn that waste into energy.

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