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Florida announces first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant

scrap-woodVerenium Company today announced plans to build its first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant, to be located in south-central Florida’s Highlands County.

Set to begin operations in 2011, the proposed $250 million (US) to $300 million facility will get its biofuel feedstock from Lykes Bros. Inc., an agribusiness that farms about 20,000 acres of land adjacent to the Verenium plant site.

The project is being supported with a $7 million grant from the state of Florida’s “Farm to Fuel” program, which promotes biofuel projects that will use Florida-grown crops or biomass.

“The message today is that Florida’s agricultural industry can produce fuel crops on a major commercial scale without sacrificing food crops,” said Charles H.  Bronson, commissioner of Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services. “This is a major step forward for our ‘Farm to Fuel’ program and hopefully will serve as a catalyst for additional investment by companies interested in producing renewable energy in Florida.”

Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Verenium has tested its cellosic ethanol production process at pilot and demonstration plants in Jennings, Louisiana. The commercial facility planned for Florida is ultimately expected to produce up to 36 million gallons of ethanol each year.

Verenium’s planned site in the Sunshine State is fitting for more than its proximity to biomass-producing farmland: the company’s next-generation production process is based on technology first developed at the University of Florida.

1 Comment

  • Brian J. Donovan
    Posted January 17, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Louisiana Enacts the Most Comprehensive Advanced Biofuel Legislation in the Nation

    Governor Bobby Jindal has signed into law the Advanced Biofuel Industry Development Initiative, the most comprehensive and far-reaching state legislation in the nation enacted to develop a statewide advanced biofuel industry. Louisiana is the first state to enact alternative transportation fuel legislation that includes a variable blending pump pilot program and a hydrous ethanol pilot program.

    The legislature found that the proper development of an advanced biofuel industry in Louisiana requires implementation of the following comprehensive “field-to-pump” strategy developed by Renergie, Inc.:

    (1) Feedstock other than corn;
    (2) Decentralized network of small advanced biofuel manufacturing facilities;
    (3) Variable blending pumps in lieu of splash blending; and
    (4) Hydrous ethanol.

    Please feel free to visit Renergie’s weblog ( for more information.

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Florida announces first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant – The Global View

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