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Commercial plant produces cellulosic methanol

Aug. 18, 2010, Broomfield, CO – Range Fuels Inc. has produced cellulosic methanol from the initial phase of its first commercial cellulosic biofuels plant near Soperton, Georgia, using woody biomass.


August 18, 2010
By Range Fuels

Aug. 18,
2010, Broomfield, CO – Range Fuels Inc., which is focusing on commercially
producing low-carbon biofuels and clean renewable power, has produced
cellulosic methanol from the initial phase of its first commercial cellulosic
biofuels plant near Soperton, Georgia, using woody biomass. The first
phase of the Soperton plant operations employs Range Fuels' innovative,
two-step thermo-chemical process, which uses heat, pressure, and steam to
convert biomass such as woody biomass and grasses into a synthesis gas composed
of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. The syngas is then passed over a proprietary
catalyst to produce mixed alcohols that are separated and processed to yield a
variety of low-carbon biofuels, including cellulosic ethanol and methanol.

The
cellulosic methanol will be used to produce biodiesel, ultimately displacing
diesel oil in transportation fuel markets. It may also displace diesel in
heating applications, be used as a fuel additive in gasoline-powered motor
vehicles, or be used to power fuel cells. Range Fuels plans to begin production
of cellulosic ethanol from the plant in the third quarter of 2010 that will
meet ASTM standards for fuel-grade ethanol. It will displace gasoline in local
and regional transportation fuel markets.

"This
milestone is a giant step in overcoming the technological and financing
challenges facing the commercialization of cellulosic biofuels and positions us
extremely well to expand production of cellulosic biofuels,” says David Aldous,
Range Fuels' president and CEO.

The
Soperton plant initially will use woody biomass from nearby timber operations,
but plans to experiment with other feedstock for the conversion process,
including Miscanthus and switchgrass. Range Fuels plans to expand the capacity of the
plant to 60 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels annually, with construction
to begin next summer. The Soperton plant is permitted to produce 100 million
gallons of ethanol and methanol each year.

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