- Gasification and fermentation technology converts biomass waste into renewable fuel and power.
- Facility can produce 8m gal. of cellulosic ethanol.
- Center will serve as reference plant for future projects.
INEOS Bio announced that its Indian River BioEnergy Center in Vero Beach, Fla., is now producing cellulosic ethanol at commercial scale, and the first ethanol shipments will be released this month.
This is the first commercial-scale production using INEOS Bio's breakthrough gasification and fermentation technology for conversion of biomass waste into bioethanol and renewable power, according to the announcement.
The Indian River BioEnergy Center is a joint venture project between INEOS Bio and INEOS New Planet Energy. The facility has already converted several types of waste biomass material into bioethanol, including vegetative and yard waste and citrus, oak, pine and pallet wood waste.
It will have an annual output of 8 million gal. of cellulosic ethanol and six megawatts (gross) of renewable power.
The center is also permitted to utilize municipal solid waste, quantities of which will be used for bioethanol production at the center during 2014.
"We are delighted with the progress made by our team at Vero Beach," said Dr. Peter Williams, chief executive officer of INEOS Bio and chairman of its joint venture partner, New Planet BioEnergy. "They have successfully addressed the challenges of moving a new technology to large production scale for the very first time. Consequently, we are now pleased to announce that we are producing commercial quantities of bioethanol from vegetative and wood waste and, at the same time, exporting power to the local community — a world first. We expect to spend the remainder of 2013 putting the plant through its paces and demonstrating full nameplate capacity."
INEOS Bio said it is working with other companies and cities globally to use this technology as a new direction for sustainable waste disposal and the production of advanced biofuels and renewable power.
"All that we have seen so far validates the technical and economic viability of the technology," Williams added. "We remain convinced that the ability to divert waste materials from communities by converting them into competitively priced renewable fuel and power offers an excellent value proposition. It helps solve waste disposal issues, contributes to the supply of affordable and renewable fuel and energy, creates attractive jobs and provides a sustainable source of value for the community. We look forward to taking the next steps in building a global business based on the broad deployment of this advanced technology."
The Indian River BioEnergy Center cost more than $130 million and created more than 400 direct construction, engineering and manufacturing jobs during its development. It has 65 full-time employees.
The center will serve as a reference plant for future INEOS Bio facilities and for companies and cities interested in licensing the technology for similar facilities.
INEOS Bio is part of INEOS, the world's fourth-largest petrochemical company and a leading manufacturer of commodity chemicals, specialty chemicals, biofuels and oil products.
New Planet Energy is engaged in the development and implementation of advanced biofuels and energy projects.