Here's another sign that ethanol can become more efficient:
Poet LLC announced that its plant at Chancellor, S.D. – which it is expanding from 50-million to 100-million gallon per year capacity – will use wood chips from a pallet recycler to produce half the power it uses to makes ethanol.
"The solid waste fuel boiler will allow us to double our production capacity without increasing our natural gas usage," says Rick Serie, general manager of the plant. "We'll be reducing our operating costs by using a green fuel source to produce a domestic, green transportation fuel for America."
Waste wood from pallets, construction sites and area landfills will be the primary fuel source for the solid waste fuel boiler. Poet has contracted with Mueller Pallets of Sioux Falls to provide 150-350 tons of wood per day. The company recycles transport pallets. It has also begun buying and grinding waste wood from area landfills, tree services companies and other private sources.
"It's a win-win situation. By recycling instead of disposing of waste wood, companies, cities and towns in the region will together save hundreds of thousands of dollars in landfill costs yearly," says Margie Mueller, president of Mueller Pallets. "And while saving raw materials from disposal, the fuel product we process will help reduce the need for natural gas."
Poet Alternative Energy Engineer Jim Geraets says the solid waste fuel boiler will be outfitted with state-of-the-art pollution control equipment that exceeds state and federal standards and continuously monitored.
"Ethanol is one of the best tools we have to fight pollution from vehicles," says Geraets, "and … we're always looking for ways that we can make the ethanol production process even more environmentally-friendly."
For more information, go to www.poetenergy.com.