Thursday, December 6, 2007

Nebraska ethanol plant run on cow power shuts

From Reuters:

In the latest setback for biofuels producers, a Nebraska ethanol plant powered by a gas derived from cow manure filed for bankruptcy last Friday, court records show.

E3 Biofuels-Mead LLC, filed for bankruptcy on Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Kansas.

The company's plant in Mead, Nebraska suffered an explosion in a boiler earlier in the year. That kept the 25 million gallon per year plant running only at about half capacity, a source close to the plant's operations said in an interview. He said the plant has shut until it can get finances in order.

E3 billed the plant as environmentally friendly because it provided its own fuel from cow manure. It made ethanol from corn and fed the crop waste to 28,000 cows on site. Then it made a biogas from the manure, of which it had large supplies, obviating the need for outside natural gas or coal to fire the plant.

The novel "closed loop" system worked, the source said, but the operation never recovered from the explosion....MORE