October 18, 2012BDC Members Tour Alpena Biorefinery

Source: TAPPI

The Bioenergy Deployment Consortium (BDC), Middleton, Wis., USA, recently held its 2012 Fall Symposium in Alpena, Michigan, capping the event with a tour of the new cellulosic ethanol plant owned by American Process Inc. (API), Atlanta, Ga.

The API process utilizes hemicellulose extract from the adjacent DPI hardboard mill, which previously was treated and discharged as a waste stream. The arrangement provides benefits to both DPI and API. This technology has replication potential in pulp mills and biomass power plants across the industry, API notes.

The low-cost feedstock stream utilized by API is hydrolyzed and combined with a special yeast to break down the sugars. When the plant reaches design production, it will generate about 1 million gal/yr of cellulosic ethanol.

Theodora Retsina, CEO of API, said that "this commercial project will prove the economics of using cellulosic biomass as the feedstock for ethanol and other products, which have previously come from petroleum. The Alpena commercial plant will provide us knowledge that we will apply to future projects."

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