PHOTO: BBI INTERNATIONAL, SUSANNE RETKA SCHILL
MEETING A MILESTONE: For a year, Ineos Bio New Planet Energy has been generating renewable power from the biomass gasifier, shown here with Peter Williams, CEO, left, and Mark Niedershulte, chief operating officer, in the foreground. Commissioning the syngas-fermentation-to-ethanol system took 10 months.
The Value of Versatility Besides cellulosic ethanol on a commercial scale, Ineos Bioâ€™s Florida biorefinery generates 6 MW of power via a feedstock flexible gasification technology. BY SUSANNE RETKA SCHILL
he staff at Ineos Bio New Planet Energy LLC has settled into the daily routine of commercial production at the first-of-its-kind cellulosic ethanol and renewable power facility near the Indian River Landfill outside of Vero Beach, Fla. A steady stream of trucks delivers yard and tree trimmings to the feedstock yard, where the material is shredded and piled for open-air drying in the Florida sun before being moved over to the covered shelter and fed into a dryer and gasifier. The heat recovered from the cooling gas is used to generate 6 MW of electricity and the cleaned, cooled syngas goes to a patented anaerobic bacterial fermentation process producing 8 MMgy of ethanol.
24 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2013
In the continuous process, feedstock entering into the gasifier exits as ethanol less than 10 minutes later. The project is a joint venture between Florida-based New Planet Energy Florida LLC and Ineos Bio, a division of global chemical company the Ineos Group. The $130 million project received a $50 million U.S. DOE matching grant in December 2009 and a $75 million USDA loan guarantee in January 2011. A groundbreaking ceremony was held a month later. The process design was worked out in over 40,000 hours of operation since 2003 at a fully-integrated pilot plant in Fayetteville, Ark., using a wide variety of feedstocks. Ineos purchased the pilot facility
and technology in 2008 from Bioengineering Resources Inc., forming its IneosBio division to commercialize the process. The Ineos Group also is relatively new, being formed in 1998 to acquire a petrochemical refinery in Antwerp, Belgium. In a series of acquisitions, Ineos purchased technology rights and production facilities from companies such as Dow Chemicals, Rhodia, BASF, Chevron, Phillips, Monsanto, Hoechst and, in 2006, BP Chemicals. Sales in the past two years have topped $43 billion from 15 Ineos business segments that manufacture a wide range of chemical intermediates. The production network spans 51 manufacturing facilities in 11 countries.
October 13 Biomass Magazine