Irvine, California – BlueFire Ethanol Fuels has received the first installment of funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the development of a plant in Southern California. Upon completion, the plant will produce approximately 17 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year from green waste, wood waste and other cellulosic urban wastes.
Bluefire was one of six companies named for a total of US$40 million in DOE funding aimed at increasing the use of renewable and alternative fuels.
BlueFire holds the sole North American rights to the Arkenol Process Technology, a patented process for transforming cellulosic waste from landfills into ethanol. The Southern California plant is a replica model of a process that can be implemented at several sites across the country, serving the dual purpose of waste management and biofuel production. The company will also build a smaller plant that will be the country’s first commercial facility to convert biowaste into ethanol, producing up to 3.2 million gallons annually from materials such as wood chips, grass cuttings and other organic waste. The plant, scheduled to commerce operations in 2009, will also utilize reclaimed water and generate its own electricity and steam as a byproduct of the process.