Xethanol Corporation, a renewable energy company, today announced its subsidiary Southeast Biofuels LLC has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS). The agreement is under the direction of Dr. Bill Widmer of the USDA-ARS Citrus and Subtropical Products Laboratory at Winter Haven, Fla. His work focuses on conversion of citrus waste to ethanol.
Widmer’s USDA research is the subject of the April 2008 cover story in Biomass Magazine, called “Fresh-Squeezed Feedstock.” The story explores the innovative process developed by Dr. Widmer and Dr. Karel Grohmann -- showing how citrus fruit waste can be turned into ethanol. The story explains to readers, “Before you drink that next glass of OJ, consider that half of the orange used to make that juice becomes waste material.”
Xethanol’s Southeast Biofuels has the rights to three patents pending concerning the work of Dr. Widmer. The article reports the ethanol market in Florida is growing and the state will continue to support waste to ethanol projects. Southeast Biofuels has been awarded a grant of $500,000 by the State of Florida under its Farm to Fuel Initiative.
As previously announced, Xethanol plans to build a demonstration plant for converting citrus peel waste into ethanol. The company is negotiating an agreement to locate the plant at an existing Florida citrus facility owned by one of the largest citrus processors in the world.
David Ames, the Company’s CEO commented, “Dr. Bill Widmer has been at the forefront of researching the process of converting citrus waste to ethanol so that it can be economically feasible.” Added Mr. Ames, “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Dr. Widmer and the USDA-ARS Citrus Lab.”