Alliant unit partners for ethanol efficiency

Posted on December 14, 2007. Filed under: Vehicles - Ethanol |


An article from The Capital Times:

Madison-based Alliant Energy announced that its Iowa utility unit has partnered with three other companies to market, design, install and arrange financing for a biomass-fueled, steam production technology that aims to significantly cut the cost to produce ethanol while lowering emissions.

The four firms are Interstate Power and Light Co., Harris Companies, AE&E-Von Roll Inc., and FCStone Carbon LLC

“With ethanol prices lower than they’ve been in recent years and capital costs required for expanding or building new plants soaring, producers are looking for ways to operate more efficiently and reduce costs,” IPL President Tom Aller said in a statement. “This technology is the answer to being a low-cost ethanol producer in today’s competitive marketplace.”

The patented process involves the way steam is produced for the ethanol manufacturing process. Using AE&E-Von Roll’s fluidized bed reactor technology, residue and byproducts of making ethanol are used as fuel to generate steam used in the plant, cutting natural gas use by more than 50 percent while reducing emissions.

Energy costs for a typical 50-million-gallon-per-year ethanol plant represent approximately 20 percent of total annual operating costs. For every gallon of ethanol produced, 29 cents is spent on natural gas and four cents is spent on electricity.

Michael Vickerman commented on ethanol’s fossil-fuel dependence in his article De-Fossilizing Ethanol.

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