Florida cellulosic ethanol plant to return online

Renewable energy technology provider INEOS Bio is restarting its new cellulosic ethanol plant in Florida after contamination forced it to decrease production considerably.

The company has upgraded the facility's technology and is also finishing the installation of equipment to remove impurities from one of the plant's process streams. As a result, this contamination has disrupted production.

The facility and accompanying equipment should be back up and running before the end of the year.

INEOS Bio had been producing minimal amounts of ethanol at its cellulosic plant in Florida, despite having a full capacity of 8 million gallons per year, because its gasification process was producing too much hydrogen cyanide (HCN), which in turn, contaminated the synthesis gas (syngas) the plant fed to its anaerobic bacteria.

INEOS Bio is installing three towers that will clean and remove the HCN from the syngas.

When the plant, developed by INEOS Bio and NPE Florida, started commercial production in July 2013, it was the largest cellulosic plant at the time.

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