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DOE to fund 6 biorefinery projects

The Department of Energy (DOE) will invest up to $385 million for six biorefinery projects over the next four years that are expected to produce more than 130 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year, according to DOE information.

The project is part of the Bush administration's plan to make cellulosic ethanol cost-competitive with gasoline by 2012 and, along with increased automobile fuel efficiency, reduce America’s gasoline consumption by 20 percent in 10 years.

The projects include:

•Abengoa Bioenergy Biomass of Kansas LLC, Chesterfield KS, up to $76 million. The plant will use 700 tons per day of corn stover, wheat straw, milo stubble, switchgrass, and other feedstocks.

•ALICO Inc, LaBelle Fl, up to $33 million. For feedstock, the plant will use 770 tons per day of yard, wood, and vegetative wastes and eventually energycane.

•BlueFire Ethanol Inc, Irvine CA, up to $40 million. As feedstock, the plant would use 700 tons per day of sorted green waste and wood waste from landfills.

•Broin Companies, Sioux Falls SD, up to $80 million. For feedstock in the production of cellulosic ethanol, the plant (in Emmetsburg IA) expects to use 842 tons per day of corn fiber, cobs, and stalks.

•Iogen Biorefinery Partners LLC, Arlington VA, up to $80 million. The plant (in Shelley ID) will use 700 tons per day of agricultural residues including wheat straw, barley straw, corn stover, switchgrass, and rice straw as feedstocks.

•Range Fuels (formerly Kergy Inc.) of Broomfield CO, up to $76 million. The proposed plant (in Soperton GA) will use 1,200 tons per day of wood residues and wood based energy crops.

Cellulosic ethanol is an alternative fuel made from a wide variety of non-food plant materials (or feedstocks), including agricultural wastes such as corn stover and cereal straws, industrial plant waste like saw dust and paper pulp, and energy crops grown specifically for fuel production like switchgrass.

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