Fiberight Begins Production at Cellulosic Ethanol Plant in Blairstown, IA Using Fiber and MSW as Feedstocks
Date Posted: May 6, 2010
Blairstown, IA—Fiberight announced May 6 that it commenced production at the nation’s first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant using enzymatic conversion technology and industrial / municipal solid waste (MSW) as feedstock.
Fiberight recently completed its initial stage development by converting a former first generation corn ethanol plant in Blairstown, Iowa to cellulosic biofuel production which incorporates specialized waste treatment and biochemical technologies to efficiently turn MSW into biofuel.
Fiberight has retained Source Capital Group, Inc of Westport, CT to complete a financing led by Venture Cross Partners of Great Falls, VA to provide expansion capital for the Blairstown biorefinery.
Following a total $24 million investment, the facility will be scaled to final commercial production capacity of approximately 6 million gallons of biofuel per year in 2011.
Fiberight has developed a core extraction and processing technology to unlock the potential for 9 billion gallons of renewable biofuel contained in 103 million tons of non-recyclable municipal solid waste (MSW) generated each year in the US.
Fiberight efficiently fractionates waste and uses a highly cost effective biochemical process to turn the organic element of MSW such as contaminated paper, food wastes and other discards into fuel grade cellulosic ethanol.
The company has also developed technologies to capture value from the inorganic fraction of solid waste and can recycle many materials that are otherwise discarded.
Fiberight’s core wet pulping technology was recently approved after a three year application process by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in a Notice of Allowance on April 23, 2010.
Fiberight provides a new paradigm for environmentally sustainable waste management by offering a strong economic solution for over 60% of the trash stream, by turning it into valuable biofuel as a commercially viable alternative to traditional landfill disposal or incineration.
In addition to solving a major trash disposal problem, Fiberight’s biorefineries will fulfill the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s mandates under the National Renewable Fuel Standard program (known as RFS2) that provides statutory requirements for the incorporation of renewable biofuel, including cellulosic ethanol, as part of the nation’s transportation fuel.
For 2011, the cellulosic standard has been set for 250 million gallons (mg) increasing to 16 billion gallons (bg) by 2022.
Fiberight is well positioned to support this renewable biofuel goal as reaffirmed by the Obama Administration under 40 CFR part 80 this past February.
The Blairstown facility will use initial feedstock from paper pulp wastes from a paper plant in Cedar Rapids, IA followed by integration of other industrial wastes and processed MSW from Fiberight’s operations in Lawrenceville, VA.
By mid-summer, operations are projected to begin use of MSW from the Benton County municipality and other Iowa landfills.
At targeted full production, the Blairstown plant will be processing over 350 tons of wastes per day into valuable biofuel, at a cost of less than $1.65 per gallon.
Fiberight’s Blairstown biorefinery involves key strategic partnerships with a number of leading companies including Novozymes and TMO Renewables of the United Kingdom.
Fiberight’s facilities operate at low temperatures in a closed-loop system resulting in very low levels of emissions or effluents.
Fiberight’s highly effective, low capital cost process has distinct competitive advantages over other waste to energy methods as it can capture a significantly higher value from MSW while avoiding emissions created from incineration or gasification.
“Fiberight’s production of cellulosic ethanol from commercial and industrial waste materials will make Iowa a recognized leader in innovative alternative energy production," said CEO Craig Stuart-Paul.
“Our biorefineries will not only provide local employment opportunities but will take former excess wastes and convert them into high-value cellulosic ethanol.
"While others have tried to convert MSW into electricity or fuels using more expensive technology and much higher capital investment, Fiberight is the first in the country to successfully achieve high conversions of trash using the a sugar platform technology -- offering compelling economics and forward flexibility with the range of biochemical or biofuel products that can be produced.
"This will be a game-changing disruptive technology for the US as Fiberight deploys its core processes in future communities, as it can build its smaller size facilities on an attractive economic basis with lower feedstock volumes of only 375 to 500 tons per day.
"Fiberight currently sees market expansion opportunities in over 250 locations in the US that have populations in excess of 150,000 and either high waste disposal costs or landfill capacity challenges.”
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