Cool Planet Energy Systems Turns Wood Waste into Energy
Cool Planet Energy Systems, a Denver-based company involved with green energy innovation, plans to set up three new projects that will harvest wood waste and forest byproducts to make gasoline. These bio-refineries will be located in Louisiana at Alexandria, Natchitoches and a yet-to-be-decided site. The company will also market a byproduct from its refining process that will work as an agricultural supplement to promote water retention and carbon released from crops.
The three green energy projects will cost an estimated $168 million to build and will generate 72 new jobs with an average salary of about $60,000 a year. The construction at the 27-acre site at the Port of Alexandria is set to begin in January next year, with the plant expected to become operational in late 2014. The other two plants are expected to get operational in 2016. The company will also set up a regional office at the Port of Alexandria.
Cool Planet’s technology takes biomass, including wood waste, or parts of trees that have been discarded in the normal course, and turns it into gasoline. This gasoline is fit to be used straight in the vehicles without the need for additional refining. The other products converted from the biomass include jet fuel and biochar.
Biochar is a useful agricultural product having multiple applications. It helps improve the quality of soil as well as enhance energy generation of wood pellets. Cool Planet hopes to make its production process carbon negative with the use of biochar. This means, the goal is to bring down the volume of fossil fuels in the atmosphere rather than increasing it.
Cool Planet is the fourth company in Central Louisiana in the last two years that is developing biomass projects. All projects use wood products in an efficient way to produce fuel that is more eco-friendly compared to fossil fuel. Sundrop Fuels, Inc. is another startup that is involved with the conversion of biomass to gasoline. The company is setting up its pilot plant just outside Alexandria. Germal Pellets and Hinterland LLC are other companies that have announced plans to set up wood pellet manufacturing facilities in the state.
Source: Bellingham Herald
Photo Credit: Flickr via Orin Zebest