Allard debuts first self-powered ethanol micro-refinery

June 21, 2011 |

In Texas, Allard Research and Development has unveiled the world’s first self-powered modular cellulose ethanol refinery utilizing cellulose feedstock grown as part of the system in hydroponic shipping containers.

A 20 gallon-per-hour modular cellulose ethanol refinery module with feedstock grow containers will have a 3,600 sq. ft. footprint. These modules can be networked together to increase the size of the refinery without losing efficiencies.

The technology and process behind the Allard ethanol refinery is very unique and also patent-pending. The seeds are the input and ASTM fuel grade ethanol is the output of the refinery. The ethanol production refinery tightly integrates an engine, generator, and distillation system together. This approach uses the waste heat from the engine for the distillation process, and creates enough electricity to power the entire plant operation.

The engine itself uses the gasified waste from the cellulose conversion process as its fuel. Altogether, the ethanol refinery and feedstock growing process operates as a closed-loop system that minimizes waste and fully utilizes all parts of the feedstock. Water is cleansed and recycled back into the system.

The new self-powered modular cellulose ethanol refinery allows for a distributed fuel production model that overcomes all of the issues facing large-scale refineries by creating numerous smaller-scale plants that are not dependent on significant infrastructure, nor are their locations relegated to geographic locations confined to corn or even cropland proximity.

This distributed model takes the production to the marketplaces where the fuel is needed, eliminates costly logistics and materials handling, eliminates corn or other commodity-based feedstock, and is poised to take maximum advantage of trending fuel delivery mechanisms such as blender pumps that are being funded by the EPA and USDA with a target of at least 10,000 to be installed and operational within the next 5 years.

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Category: Fuels

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