Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ala. plant converts town's wood waste to ethanol

When the word "ethanol" is mentioned, people usually think of corn, the traditional source of the biofuel. But cellulosic ethanol is advocated as a "greener" fuel, and one Alabama plant recently made a small batch of ethanol from wood waste. The plant, in Livingston, pop. 3,000, received wood scraps from nearby Hoover, pop. 70,000, and donated 100 gallons of the fuel for use in the town's police cars. While ethanol has been created from wood before, promoters believe it is the first time municipal waste has been used for the project.

Democratic U.S. Rep Artur Davis says that alternative fuels could be a major player in the state's economic development, and the town hopes to raise money for a large-scale plant. "This is only 100 gallons," Hoover mayor Tony Petelos told Val Walton of The Birmingham News, "but it's the beginning of a new process, not only for the city of Hoover, but this entire country." (Read more)

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