BeetsAll Biofuel envisions processing plants across North Dakota that leverage locally grown sugar crops to produce this advanced biofuel.
Creating ethanol from sugar is a simple, direct and economic process that has been proven throughout the world. The conversion from energy beet to ethanol requires one less step than corn-based ethanol since the feedstock is already in sugar form. Eliminating the starch-to-sugar step reduces costs, energy, and production time.
Beets yield twice as many gallons of ethanol per acre as corn. Doubling the ethanol production per acre and growing the crops within a 20-mile radius of the processing facility address the question of using our land resources for food vs. fuel.
To further maximize the efficiency of creating ethanol, BeetsAll Biofuel will use proven processing methods and patented technology in its facilities.
The group plans to begin construction on its first plant in late 2013 or early 2014 and begin operation in the fall of 2014. The first crop of energy beets to support the plant should be grown in 2014. The demonstration plant will verify the efficiency and profitability projected by BBI International and North Dakota State University Economic Feasibility Studies.
The first facility would be followed by a string of commercial-scale plants in subsequent years, with a goal of at least 12 highly automated plants in total. Development of the facilities would be fast and repeatable because of shop fabrication.
The group is exploring co-location opportunities, which will significantly reduce costs and increase operating efficiency. Co-location enables shared services like steam, water and wastewater, rail, fire protection, electrical service and lab facilities.
The processing plants will have a low carbon footprint because they will be powered largely by renewable energy. About 70% of the facilities’ energy will be produced from waste biomass material that is converted to thermal energy using a patented technology. This will reduce production costs, increase the return on investment, and lower the carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming.
The standardized plants will also have a low water demand since they will treat and reuse their processing water. They also use less water than corn-based ethanol, since one and a half gallons of water produces one gallon of ethanol.
Refuel Rural Economies
Up to 16 areas across North Dakota are targeted for energy beet production and processing, which will support dozens of local jobs and on-farm employment.
BeetsAll Biofuel expects that each plant will need about 23 employees. Each plant is expected to produce about 20 million gallons of ethanol per year, which will require about 30,000 acres of energy beets grown within a 20-mile radius of each plant, or a total of 360,000 acres across North Dakota.
The processing facilities will also provide an investment opportunity, since BeetsAll Biofuel would like to see some level of farmer ownership in each plant.
Overall, it is estimated that this effort will result in $250M more farm production dollars and $600M more processing dollars flowing through the state annually, plus $248M in production and processing net income reinvested in the state annually.