QuoteMaking ethanol from forestry or agricultural waste does not involve the same intensive farming as corn, which requires more water and labor, cellulosic ethanol proponents say. Also, in the ongoing food-versus-fuel debate, cellulosic ethanol advocates say that forests don't compete for land with food crops. The Soperton, Ga., plant will be using wood cast away by loggers. Trees are hauled to a central point where their tops and branches are cut off, providing the material for Range Fuels' multi-step thermochemical process. Tree branches will go into a large tank where enough heat and pressure are applied to the mix to turn it into a gas. That synthetic gas is treated and then passed through a chemical catalyst which converts the gas to alcohol. Finally, the alcohol gas is converted to fuels and then turned into liquid.
QuoteSeveral companies are pursuing techniques to make ethanol out of plants other than corn, which is how ethanol is made today in the United States. Cellulosic ethanol processes convert plant wastes, like wood chips and grasses, to ethanol. Range Fuels uses a thermal chemical process that turns the wood material into a synthetic gas that is then mixed with a catalyst to make ethanol.