Biofuel producer selects integrator and control platform for new second-generation plant

Flambeau River Biofuels selects Honeywell as MAC for its new "green Diesel" production facility, co-located with an existing paper mill. Plant will make blending fuel from wood and forest waste.
By Peter Welander October 30, 2009

Flambeau River Biofuels (FRB) has selected Honeywell Process Solutions to supply and integrate all automation equipment for what it says will be the largest second-generation "green Diesel" plant in the U.S. The Park Falls, WI plant is expected to be operational by 2012 and will produce energy, transportation fuels and chemicals from renewable biomass resources. The plant will process 1,000 dry tons per day of woody biomass from bark, sawdust, and residue typically burned after forest harvesting.

Serving as the integrated-main automation contractor (I-MAC), Honeywell will design all automation and control components, and supply integrated solutions spanning the automation landscape from wireless instrumentation to building controls. The company says this project includes the distributed control, safety technology, terminal automation, process technology, process simulation, and optimization applications.

"We chose Honeywell because our past experiences with the company have shown it’s the only automation expert with a big enough scope of supply for a project of this size and complexity," said Bob Byrne, president of Flambeau River Biofuels. "But more than just providing the technology, Honeywell has the expertise to integrate these subsystems together to create a safer, more efficient and more reliable plant. Those three areas will be critical to making this plant into a world-class facility."

The plant is designed for annual production of 10 million gallons of wax and 8 million gallons of green diesel to be used as the blend stock in transportation and aviation fuels. Both of these products would normally be manufactured from fossil-fuel feedstocks. The process also produces heat that will be used to generate steam and electricity for the co-located FRB paper mill, making the mill fossil-fuel independent.

"Across the globe, we are working hard toward realizing a more energy efficient and environmentally safe world, and new facilities such as Flambeau River Biofuels will be key to meeting these objectives," says Norm Gilsdorf, president of Honeywell Process Solutions. "There truly is no time to waste when it comes to bringing new facilities like this online."

Also read about another cellulosic fuel ethanol production startup .

-Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor, PWelander@cfemedia.com
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