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Cars to run on fuel from household waste

29 July 2008

INEOS, the world’s third largest chemical company, announced that it is aiming to produce commercial quantities of bioethanol fuel from biodegradable municipal waste, organic commercial waste and agricultural residues amongst other things, in around two years.

Cars to run on fuel from household waste within two years
Cars to run on fuel from household waste within two years

“In North America and Europe we will see around 10% or more of petrol being replaced with bioethanol. Our technology will make a major contribution to reducing greenhouse gases and the world’s need for fossil fuels.” claimed Peter Williams, CEO of INEOS Bio.

INEOS Bio Ethanol releases up to 90% less net greenhouse gases than petrol. One tonne of dry waste can be converted into about 400 litres of ethanol, which can either be blended with traditional fuels or replace them altogether, to substantially reduce vehicle emissions.

The technology uses a simple three-stage process. The waste is first superheated to produce gases. Then, through a patented process, the gases are fed to naturally occurring bacteria, which efficiently produce ethanol. Finally, the ethanol is purified to make the fuel ready to be blended for use in cars.

Car companies have already developed engines that can run efficiently on both bioethanol and conventional fuels. Up to now, the challenge has been that bioethanol is manufactured primarily from food crops and this has raised concerns on price and availability.

Governments, NGO’s and Municipal Authorities are already welcoming second-generation biofuels such as INEOS Bio Ethanol that will contribute to both reducing emission of greenhouse gases and the ever-growing waste disposal problem.

The process was developed in Fayetteville, Arkansas where Dan Coody is Mayor. He recognises the enormous potential: “This is the right product for us, at the right time, to help solve some of the world’s most intractable problems.

If we could use this ethanol from waste, we’re not only reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, we’re reducing our dependence on foreign oil.” Coody claimed.

Williams added: “We expect to announce the location of the first commercial plant fairly shortly and we will aim to quickly roll out our technology around the world. We plan to be producing commercial amounts of bioethanol fuel for cars from waste within about two years."

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