08 February 2013 03:25 [Source: ICIS news]
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (ICIS)--An anaerobic digestion technology is being used to integrate ethanol and biodiesel facilities to create closed-loop renewable energy systems, an industry expert said on Thursday.
Himark’s Integrated bioMass Utilization System (IMUS) is being implemented in two North American plants to reduce waste treatment costs, provide onsite renewable natural gas and reduce carbon footprint, said Shane Chrapko, the company’s CEO.
“It just makes sense that the renewable fuel is being powered by renewables - stop wasting waste and start using that energy,” Chrapko said on the sidelines of the National Ethanol Conference in Las Vegas.
Used at Growing Power Hairy Hill’s integrated biorefinery in Canada, the producer takes grains such as high-starch wheat and processes it into fuel ethanol.
A coproduct is distillers grain, which is fed to cattle and livestock at a nearby feedlot. The manure is then used to produce biogas, which is converted to green electricity and steam to power the ethanol plant.
In the US, Western Plains Energy is starting up a 50m gal/year ethanol plant in Kansas that uses the IMUS waste-to-energy technology.
The plant will be the first to qualify for the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule for D5 Renewable Identification Number (RIN), which qualifies a company as an advanced biofuel producer, Chrapko said.
According to the rule approved in December, dry mill ethanol plants using natural gas and sorghum meet the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions reduction threshold of 20% compared to petroleum fuel qualify it as a renewable fuel.
“We took a bet that eventually the EPA would see how lowering a carbon footprint on ethanol would create a premium,” Chrapko said.
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