Abengoa Bioenergy opens pilot plant for the energy of the future

Madrid, October 15, 2007.- Abengoa Bioenergy has opened a state-of-the-art pilot plant for the conversion of biomass in the State of Nebraska, in the United States. The plant, which involves an investment of more than 35 million dollars, will be exclusively dedicated to the research and development of biofuel production processes from lignocellulosic biomass, the earths most organic feedstock, as part of the agreement signed with the DOE (US Department of Energy) in 2003.
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The pilot plant inaugurated by Abengoa Bioenergy, is the first of its kind; it will serve as a platform for testing new equipment, systems and catalysts necessary to break down various organic compounds and process them, such as herbaceous and woody materials, thus optimizing ethanol production. The plant will also be a research and training centre for other teams in Abengoa Bioenergy whilst the company evaluates and tests additional products, equipment and other processes being designed at present to improve organic biomass processes.

Furthermore, during the ceremony, Javier Salgado announced a collaboration agreement signed with the US Department of Energy (DOE) for the sum of 38 million dollars for the design and development of the first commercial-scale biomass into ethanol plant in Hugoton, Kansas.

The plant will process daily 700 metric tons of biomass to produce 44 million liters of ethanol per year as well as other forms of enewable energy such as electricity and vapor. The biomass plant will be situated next to a conventional cereal to ethanol plant of 88 million gallons (more than 300 million liters), which will allow both facilities the benefit of a combined capacity of 100 million gallons (more than 400 million liters). The investment of both will exceed 300 million dollars.
The facility uses wood as its feed stock. This is a pilot plant which will be used to perfect tchnology. Of note is the anouncement of the Kansas plant, which is commercial scale, not pilot scale.