Beginning commercial production of biomass for electricity will allow CleanTech to develop significant revenue more quickly than originally anticipated.
Tests on the feasibility of using the biomass from CleanTech's processes for electricity production indicated that the energy value (or Btu value) is approximately 75 percent that of coal. Testing also indicates that the biomass has substantially less pollutants in emissions from combustion than other refuse derived fuels and coal.
CleanTech believes that this approach will dramatically lower the cost of its first commercial ethanol plant. By using the infrastructure it constructs for electricity production to support cellulosic ethanol production at the same site in the future, CleanTech believes that it will be able to incrementally increase the amount of MSW processed at the site daily to support both operations.
"We look at the application of biomass co-fired with coal as the low hanging fruit that can be done commercially right now," said Ed Hennessey, CleanTech CEO. "Coal prices have increased dramatically in recent years and that has increased the value of the energy content in our biomass."
Hennessey further added, "We are looking to develop a plant in Chicago using the biomass as solid fuel to produce electricity with traditional debt and bond financing to fund a significant part of the development costs. When our cellulosic ethanol conversion technology is ready for commercial implementation, we hope to use the infrastructure at the existing plant to add a cellulosic conversion plant to the same site."