Experimental Danish ethanol plant built

September 13, 2006

A pilot ethanol plant has been built at the Danish Technical University in Lyngby, Denmark, to convert agricultural bi-products into the fuel.

The breakthrough technology is designed to solve the problem of using foodstuffs to create ethanol -- a method criticized as being neglectful towards the world's undernourished population, the financial newspaper Børsen reported.

The pilot plant will use research provided by the firm Biogasol to use agricultural bi-products such as straw and maize stalks and leaves to produce the ethanol.

The plant's operations will provide potential investors with assurance the method actually works outside the laboratory, Professor Birgitte Ahring, Biogasol founder and co-owner, told the newspaper.

Ahring said financing is needed to construct a larger plant to produce at least 10 million liters (2.6 million gallons) of ethanol per year to make the fuel economically viable.

Such a facility would cost about $34 million (200 million kroner), with the money coming from both public and private sources, Ahring said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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