August 16, 2012 9:59:33 AM
Operations will start next month at Columbus' KiOR renewable fuels plant.
"KiOR's Columbus facility is 100 percent mechanically complete, and construction costs will come in about 4 percent under our latest cost estimate of $222 million," KiOR President and Chief Operating Officer Fred Cannon said Wednesday. "Earlier this year, I had challenged our construction management team to find ways to accelerate our construction within our budget and they delivered beyond my expectations in a safe, environmentally conscious and cost-effective manner.
"We are proceeding on schedule with the commissioning of the facility and are on track to start up next month, so we expect KiOR fuel from Columbus will be in American cars and trucks this year," he added. "We look forward to providing the first domestic sustainable cellulosic gasoline and diesel from the Columbus facility."
In the KiOR process, biomass -- non-food products, like bark, leaves, wood chips, switchgrass and other plant material -- are converted into renewable crude oil in one-second reactions. The product then is converted to renewable fuel, which is the same as petroleum. The finished product is not biodiesel and not ethanol, but rather a true hydrocarbon fuel and is compatible in all engines, cars and trucks.
The expected product -- 11 million gallons of fuel a year -- from the Columbus facility already was sold out before ground was broken on the plant.
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