A $700,000 grant this year begins our two-year surge to deliver commercial tree-based ethanol. We are now installing the required equipment and adding more research talent to move our extraction and production of ethanol from mixed northern hardwood from the research stage to the commercial stage."
Murphy continued, "As we first announced in January, researchers at SUNY-ESF have invented a method of removing energy-rich sugars from wood. We are working in conjunction with Northeast Biofuels in Fulton, N.Y. to turn our forests into a viable feedstock for ethanol to help meet America's need for renewable energy."
Walsh said, "SUNY ESF is at the forefront of developing new environmentally friendly, renewable energy sources, and this funding will assist in transferring its research to market. In addition to its value to New York companies, production of this commercial tree-based ethanol product will offer new economic opportunities for those currently in the timber industry and for farmers looking to develop new crop options for unproductive land," said Walsh.
Amidon said, "Our process extracts the sugar xylan from hardwoods before the paper-making process, leaving the cellulose, which becomes pulp, for use in making paper and the lignin for energy recovery to power the process. Also extracted in our process is the wood's relatively valuable acetic acid that is used in manufacturing. So, both new products add substantial value to our forest products and provide an opportunity for additional manufacturing operations."
"This means New York companies, like International Paper or Lyonsdale Biomass, can significantly increase their profitability. That should open up new development opportunities," said Amidon.