That old cornstalk’s worth money. And so is that dead tree stump. Known as biomass, such plant materials can be converted into an alternative fuel source. And eventually that will mean savings for drivers at the pump.
Des Plaines-based Gas Technology Institute (GTI) is starting production of biomass fuel at a Chicago plant as part of a pilot project with the aim of selling it in conventional gas stations starting in 2014. “It’s an aggressive timeline but it’s not unrealistic,” said Vann Bush, GTI managing director of energy conversion.
GTI, a not-for-profit research organization, held an open house Tuesday to demonstrate the technology behind its plants-to-fuel process.
“We take biomass material and chemically transform it with heat and pressure into gasoline and diesel…it’s a biomass refinery,” Bush said. Cornstalks, algae, wood and solid waste are among the raw materials GTI will use for its new fuel.
In the next two years, GTI anticipates obtaining necessary federal certification to begin wide-scale distribution of its fuel across the country. This involves establishing additional manufacturing plants near sources of biomass.
From The Daily Herald: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120418/business/704189944/Tags: alternative fuels, biomass, biomass fuel, biomass refinery, biorefinery, Des Plaines, Gas Technology Institute, green gasoline, renewable fuels, Vann Bush