Renewable energy lab dedicates ethanol plant

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<ul><li><p>first moving a set of four legs on one frametwo on each sidethen mov-ing four legs on a second frame. Dante II can rappel on any incline from 0 to 90 and traverse any plane at up to 3 feet per minute. A 1,000-foot-long teth-er cable enables it to rappel and pro-vides power and communications links. The research team uses virtual reality technology to gain a real sense of how the robot is operating. </p><p>Bares tells C&amp;EN that after the Ant-arctic failure, the approach with Dante II was "to cut back on the science this time and focus on the robotics. If we can prove the robotics this year, we can load up with 500 lb of scientific equip-ment next time." </p><p>Thus, he explains, the team stripped off the previous version's gas chromato-graph, gamma-ray spectrometer, infra-red thermometer, and equipment for collecting gas samples. Dante II carried just an ambient air temperature sensor, thermocouple for measuring hot fuma-role gas temperatures, and three gas sen-sorsfor hydrogen sulfide, sulfur diox-ide, and carbon dioxide. </p><p>As it turns out, some of these scientif-ic missions were scratched, as well, to concentrate on the robotics. Terry E. C. Keith, scientist-in-charge at AVO, tells C&amp;EN that the robot only made ambient temperature measurements, and the carbon dioxide sensor did not work. But the hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide sensors did carry out observationsand </p><p>An alternative fuels user facility and ethanol pilot plant has been designed to allow scaleup of biofuel technologies that show commercial promise in the laboratory. Dedicated recently at the Na-tional Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., the unit will "play a criti-cal role" in bringing "homegrown" transportation fuels produced from bio-mass to the U.S. marketplace, according to an NREL spokesman. </p><p>The pilot plant will apply recent ge-netic engineering breakthroughs at NREL that have yielded a new organ-ism to process a wider range of bio-mass types than before. The biomass types include wood chips, wastepaper, trees and grass, municipal solid waste, and agricultural and forestry residues. The $11.3 million, 10,000-sq-ft facility implements basic operations devel-</p><p>detected no sulfur compounds either in ambient air or at a number of fumaroles. The team believes the white plumes emitted from the fumaroles are almost entirely water vapor. </p><p>Keith says she is not surprised that no sulfur compounds were found. Recent airborne correlation spectrometer flights over Mount Spurr found no sulfur in airborne gases. There is a big sulfur in-flux when magma erupts to the surface, but almost two years have passed since Mount Spurns last eruption and the fu-maroles have probably weakened and cooled off, she notes. Exit of magmatic gases may also be blocked by the large amount of debris that has fallen. </p><p>Nevertheless, Keith considers the mis-sion a success. 'The robot didn't give much data, but we know now that the tests can be done in a volcano. That's im-portant. We did obtain a fantastic set of video films showing what's inside the volcano. And that's valuable. </p><p>"We're just beginning to learn about volcanic gas geochemistry," Keith adds. There are no specific plans yet for a future Dante mission. But she and other volcano specialists would like to see Dante go back with a full scientific package to Mount Erebus in Antarcti-caone of the few volcanoes in the world found to contain a lava lake over a long period of time. Carnegie Mellon scientists already project a new, im-proved Dante generation. </p><p>Richard Seltzer </p><p>oped by NREL for feedstock handling, pretreatment, fermentation, and ethanol purification. </p><p>On hand to dedicate the facility was Christine A. Ervin, assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy at the Department of Energy, and Bill El-liot, vice president of operations in the Chicago office of the engineering firm John Brown, a division of the U.K.-based engineering and construction firm Trafalgar House. John Brown is the con-tractor that designed and managed con-struction of the ethanol plant. </p><p>Ervin stresses that the new plant is a user facility, meaning that industry, universities, and other national labora-tories may use it for the scaleup and assessment of biofuels technologies. One of the first customers is Amoco Corp., which will test the feasibility of </p><p>using wastepaper as a feedstock to make ethanol. </p><p>Ervin notes that "this facility under-scores DOE's commitment to working with industry on transportation fuels that are home grown, which means a boost for local and regional economies, and can help reduce air pollution." As an alternative fuel, ethanol can be used in pure form or it can be blended with gasoline. In internal combustion engines, the mixture reduces carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions. </p><p>The pilot plant contains four 2,300-gal fermentation tanks that can process 1 ton of feedstock per day. The facility is equipped with research labs, a feed-stock pretreatment area, and offices and conference rooms for facility users. Plans call for the installation of addi-tional fermenters in 1995. </p><p>NREL, the nation's primary laborato-ry for renewable energy research and development, is managed for DOE by Midwest Research Institute of Kansas City, Mo. </p><p>Deborah Ilhnan </p><p>Pyrethroid Intermediates </p><p>Trimethyl Orthoacetate (TMOA) </p><p>OCH 3 </p><p>CH3C ~ O C H 3 </p><p>OCH, </p><p>Triethyl Orthoacetate (TEOA) </p><p>CH3COC2H5 </p><p>OC2H5 </p><p>Huls also offers a unique class of orthoesters for the agrichemical and pharmaceutical industries: Trimethyl Orthoformate (TMOF), Triethyl Orthoformate (TEOF), Triethyl Orthopropionate (TEOP) </p><p>HULS AMERICA INC. </p><p>Intermediates &amp; Fine Chemical </p><p>80 Centennial Avenue </p><p>Piscataway, NJ 08855-0456 </p><p>(908) 980-6964 </p><p>Fax: (908) 980-6970 huls Huls-108-ISC-R2 </p><p>CIRCLE 7 ON READER SERVICE CARD </p><p>Renewable energy lab dedicates ethanol plant </p><p>AUGUST 15,1994 C&amp;EN 37 </p><p>Renewable energy lab dedicates ethanol plant</p></li></ul>