• Aug 26th 2007 at 12:36PM
  • 2
The Florida Crystals sugar company is no stranger to renewable energy. The company claims it has reduced dependence on foreign oil by about 800,000 barrels a year thanks to its New Hope Power Partnership, located next to the company's Okeelanta facility. The NHPP turns sugar cane fiber and urban wood waste into electricity used by the company and about 60,000 homes (how this directly eliminates oil imports is unclear, but I get that they're making energy from biomass products, which is cool).
Last week, the University of Florida selected the Okeelanta facility as the location to build a new $20 million cellulosic ethanol research and demonstration plant. The idea is to create a cellulosic ethanol plant that can produce between 1-2 million gallons of ethanol each year using technology developed by UF professors that can make ethanol from sugarcane bagasse and other biomass sources.

[Source: Florida Crystals Corporation]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      yes. Run off from lawn chemicals/fretilizers is an increasing problem. Here in Virginia lawn/farm run off is destroying the Cheseapeak bay as well.
      As Sebastian B. puts it making Cellulisic ethanol from waste biomass is still "cool". It looks like the run off problem is going to exist regardles of the status of the new ethenol plant.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Sadly, the suger cane industry in Florida is also decimating the coral reef and the Gulf.

      That runoff is a mixture of water that has washed through urban Miami. It contains fertilizer from sugar cane farms near Lake Okeechobee and farther south, as well as the fertilizer from the golf courses, lawns and gardens of South Florida’s 5.3 million residents.

      The problem began in the late 1970s with something called the Interim Action Plan, a diversion to the south — rather than to Lake Okeechobee — of water from sugar cane fields. It was meant to save the lake that was being strangled by massive algae blooms.

      “It worked for Lake Okeechobee,” Lapointe said. “It was a disaster for the reefs.” That water, still loaded with nitrogen, is now pumped by the South Florida water district through the Everglades and into Florida Bay via the Shark River and the Taylor Slough. It goes through water treatment areas, but these are designed to take up phosphorus not nitrogen.

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