The big oil companies are continuing to expand their involvement in promoting and producing corn ethanol in the United States. Yesterday the Chevron Energy Solutions unit of Chevron revealed that it is going to begin working with Ethanex Energy, Inc. to develop highly efficient ethanol production plants. Ethanol has been strongly debated as fuel because of the energy required to produce it and the fact that it has only 60 percent of the energy density of gasoline. Improving the efficiency of the production process can help to make ethanol are more viable replacement for petroleum based fuels.
The Chevron unit will initially conduct engineering and design work leading to the construction of at least three plants in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas. The plan is to have the plants running by 2008 and have each producing 132 million gallons of fuel ethanol annually. Chevron has been making several ethanol related announcements recently, which we covered in these recent posts:
- An ex-Chevron exec's change of heart on ethanol
- Chevron and DuPont's biofuels announcements
- Chevron/UC Davis team up for biofuel research