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Closed-loop ethanol plant planned for Nebraska

Agriculture.com Staff 10/30/2006 @ 7:56am

E3 BioFuels will launch the first-ever closed-loop ethanol plant in Mead, Nebraska, in December.

Company officials say the facility's processes will eliminate the need for fossil fuels in ethanol production altogether. Dennis Langley, Chairman and CEO of E3 BioFuels, says the Genesis plant will begin production in December 2006 as the first-ever closed-loop system for distilling commercial quantities of ethanol using methane gas recaptured from cow manure instead of fossil fuels.

The closed-loop system -- derived from an exclusive patent co-owned by an affiliate of E3 BioFuels -- combines a 25-million-gallon ethanol refinery, beef cattle feedlot and anaerobic digesters to maximize energy efficiencies unavailable to each component on a standalone basis. The system eliminates the potential for manure to pollute watersheds, and it enables the wet distillers grain from ethanol production to be fed on-site to cattle without energy-intensive drying and transportation costs.

In the October edition of Wired magazine, venture capitalist Vinod Khosla wrote, "It may surprise you to learn that the most promising solution to our nation's energy crisis begins in the bowels of a waste trough, under the slotted concrete floor of a giant pen that holds 28,000...beef cattle.

"E3 BioFuels is about to fire up the most energy efficient corn ethanol facility in the country: a $75 million state-of-the-art biorefinery," Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, continued. "The output: a potential gusher of renewable, energy-efficient transportation fuel."

Langley said E3 BioFuels plans to build 15 more such plants near feedlots and dairy farms, of increasing size, within the next five years.

E3 BioFuels will launch the first-ever closed-loop ethanol plant in Mead, Nebraska, in December.

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