BusinessGreen reports that Range Fuels, which recently secured $100m in funding, is moving ahead with the building of an ethanol plant in Georgia that will be capable of turning wood into biofuel using a thermo-chemical technique. Plans are for Range Fuels to begin producing ethanol from wood waste next year.
Since corn, soy and palm-oil based biofuels are now being called into question over their impact on the food supply and food prices, alternative methods to produce biofuel are needed. Range Fuels appears to be moving very quickly to get the needed permits. According to Jim McMillian, biorefining process R&E group manager at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Range Fuels is a front runner in this area. According to McMillian, the wood-based feedstock that Range Fuels will use is readily available – timber forests were planted 20 years ago to supply a paper and pulp industry that has since moved to Asia.