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SunOpta and GreenField Ethanol Create Wood-Chip Cellulosic Ethanol Joint Venture; NY State Makes Two Wood Cellulosic Ethanol Development Awards

SunOpta has signed a joint venture agreement with GreenField Ethanol—formerly known as Commercial Alcohols, Canada’s leading producer of fuel ethanol—to develop and implement commercial scale processes for the production of cellulosic ethanol from wood chips, including the planned establishment of one or more commercial scale plants employing the new process.

Separately, New York Governor George Pataki announced two awards totalling $25.2 million for the development of wood and paper pulp-based cellulosic ethanol facilities: one to Mascoma (earlier post), and the other to Catalyst Renewables Corporation (CRC), a Dallas, Texas-based renewable energy company that currently owns two biomass-to-energy plants in New York.

The first SunOpta-Greenfield plant is planned to produce 40 million liters (10.6 million gallons US) of cellulosic ethanol per year, which would be one of the first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants built and operational in the world using wood chips.

Greenfield Ethanol and SunOpta are actively involved in selecting a site for the first plant in Ontario or Quebec. Subsequent plants will be in the range of 200 to 400 million liters (52.8 to 105.7 million gallons) per year capacity.

The venture will be owned 50% by GreenField and 50% by SunOpta’s BioProcess Group and will utilize the SunOpta BioProcess Group’s patented and proprietary process solutions for the production of cellulosic ethanol.

As previously announced, the SunOpta BioProcess Group is raising $30 million to fund exciting growth projects utilizing the Group’s proprietary technology in the production of cellulosic ethanol. This joint venture is an exciting first step in the use of these funds and we are most pleased to partner with GreenField, combining their world class expertise developing ethanol plants with our world class expertise in biomass pretreatment and cellulosic ethanol technologies.

—Steve Bromley, President and COO of SunOpta

SunOpta notes that the economic success of cellulosic ethanol depends on a number of factors:

  • High C5/C6 conversion to Monomers
  • GMO Organism to convert both C5/C6 to cellulosic ethanol
  • Enzymatic/fermentation times close to starch
  • High percentage concentration to distillation
  • Utilize excess biomass for energy (SunOpta sees cellulosic ethanol plants being net contributors to the grid)
  • Co-location with existing infrastructure
  • Proximity to market

The SunOpta BioProcess Group produces cellulosic ethanol, cellulosic butanol, xylitol, and dietary fiber for human consumption worldwide, and is currently supplying equipment and technology to three cellulosic ethanol projects in the US, Spain, and China. (Earlier post.)

GreenField Ethanol currently produces 215 million liters a year of corn-based ethanol at its plants in Chatham and Tiverton, Ontario. A third facility in Varennes, Quebec is slated to open in February 2007 and two more plants are under construction in Hensall and Johnstown, Ontario, and will be operational in 2008. GreenField Ethanol will be one of the top producers in North America with five operating plants, producing more than 700 million litres of ethanol per year by 2008.

In the New York State awards, CRC will receive $10,345,673 in funding to build a 130,000 gallon per year biorefinery adjacent to the company’s existing wood-to-energy plant in Lyonsdale, Lewis County. The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) also will conduct research at the Lyonsdale facility in cooperation with the engineering firm of O’Brien & Gere and New Energy Capital, an energy venture capital company.

The facility will use low-grade timber from surrounding North Country forests, as well as willow grown on nearby agricultural lands, to produce cellulosic ethanol, electricity, and other bio-based energy products. SUNY-ESF and Catalyst previously received $60,000 from the State Department of Agriculture and Markets to initiate the nation’s first commercial willow plantation in the Tug Hill area of Jefferson County.

On June 15, 2006, New York State issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to solicit proposals to obtain State grants to design and construct a pilot-scale cellulosic ethanol facility.




"Utilize excess biomass for energy (SunOpta sees cellulosic ethanol plants being net contributors to the grid)"

I thought power plants would become energy plants and vice versa.

John Goudgeq

I have to ask what will replace the plants harvested in their entirity for protecting the ground from wind and water erosion and as soil amendments?

This especially true for harvesting grain straw, corn and soybean stocks. Corn and soybeans are chopped and left on the fields to protect the ground during the winter and plowed under where they amend the soil. Straw is either chopped and left on the ground or is used as bedding where after use and composting, it and the urine and manure are spred on the fields as organic fertilizer. If those "wastes" are used to produce, what will replace them. Fertilizers are usually made with natural gas those costing fossile fuels. Additionally, there are limits to what commercial fertilizers can do to replace organic materials.


These guys are using wood chips, forest product waste and thus do not have that problem. In the case of corn stover, the no till process can preserve the soil. Only harvesting 50% of the stover has shown to be a good method to preserve the soil as well. Presumably you harvest the stalks and leave the roots in the soil. As for nitrogen fertilizer, hydrogen for the NH3 can be made by gasifying the stover. You do not need NG to make nitrogen fertilizer.


hello i don't know about of green car grass. so that plz tell about it's.

Dan Ronquillo

Fresno County in California has massive amounts of green waste products from farming and residental waste. The potential for wood chip ethanol is great. Is it possible to partner with you to create a new industry here and to get rid of this green waste product.


You would have to contact them directly. This is just a discussion page. Pacific Ethanol is a company that makes ethanol in California, but I don't think that they are doing cellulose ethanol yet.


December 21, 2006 10:31 AM Eastern Time
Laidlaw Energy New York Biomass Project Receives Joint Support From New York Congressional Leadership
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Laidlaw Energy Group, Inc. (OTC: LLEG) announced today that ten members of New York State’s Capitol Hill leadership wrote Governor-Elect Eliot Spitzer on Tuesday in support of Laidlaw Energy’s Ellicottville, New York biomass energy project and two other noteworthy New York biomass projects, The Biorefinery in New York and the Lyonsdale Biomass Facility. The signatories urged Governor-Elect Spitzer to fully include New York’s abundant and renewable woody biomass resources as a key component in the new administration’s comprehensive energy policy.

The diverse and bi-partisan Upstate/Downstate coalition was led by Congressman John M. McHugh (NY-23Rd) and Congressman John R. “Randy” Kuhl (NY-29th) and included United States Senator Charles E. Schumer, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27th), Congressman Maurice D. Hinchey (NY-22nd), Congressman Edolphus Towns (NY-10th), Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4th), Congressman Gregory W. Meeks (NY-6th), Timothy H. Bishop (NY-1st) and Congressman James T. Walsh (NY-25th). The letter strongly urges Governor-Elect Spitzer to ensure that his energy policy embraces woody biomass technologies that “not only help design a more sustainable future, but also help reduce New York State’s dependency on foreign sources of energy.”

Strongly emphasizing the extensive existing scientific research from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and others including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which clearly maintains that woody biomass resources have distinct technical, economical and environmental advantages, the signatories clearly recognized that CO-2 neutral woody biomass enjoys significant advantages toward reduction of the causes of global warming over fossil fuels like coal and petroleum.

The congressional delegation signer’s highlighted efforts such as Laidlaw Energy Group’s Ellicottville, NY biomass energy project for seeking to use sustainable and renewable thermal energy and electricity in an innovative combined heat and power project to create economic vitality for the New York State forest products industry.

Concerning Laidlaw Energy’s Ellicottville project, the letter stated, “Laidlaw Energy & Environmental is an exciting project in Upstate New York. They have committed to strengthening the local economic fabric in Ellicottville, New York, where their re-powered renewable facility will directly put 25 local men and women back to work and will also help local truckers and forest products industry workers earn their livings. Laidlaw Energy & Environmental will also generate year round annual tax revenues in support of local government and public schools.” Full text of the letter can be found at 121906.pdf.

(Due to its length, this URL may need to be copied/pasted into your Internet browser's address field. Remove the extra space if one exists.)

Laidlaw Energy’s Ellicottville, New York project involves the conversion of a natural gas fired power plant to utilize 100% clean woody biomass as its fuel source. It is the only power plant in the Buffalo area that is specifically designed to utilize woody biomass fuel. The project will create numerous economic benefits for the area and help improve air quality in the region by eliminating the production of greenhouse gas emissions known to effect climate change.

Concerning the delegation letter, Laidlaw Energy President and CEO Michael B. Bartoszek stated, “We are exceptionally gratified by the articulate and visionary support of this truly bipartisan group of congressional leaders. From Buffalo to Brooklyn, from the Adirondack North Country to the Allegany Mountains, all the way to the tip of Long Island, their message is clear and we at Laidlaw Energy are excited and inspired that our leadership understands so well the value of New York’s homegrown, renewable and environmentally friendly woody biomass energy resource from New York’s forest and farm communities. We sincerely appreciate and applaud the efforts of Congressman Kuhl, Congressman McHugh, Senator Schumer and the entire bipartisan coalition.”

About Laidlaw Energy Group – Cleaner Energy For a Greener Future

Laidlaw Energy Group (LLEG) is engaged in the development of independent power plants that generate electricity from renewable resources. LLEG’s mission is to build and manage a profitable portfolio of renewable energy facilities through the development of new facilities and acquisition of existing facilities. LLEG is headquartered in New York, New York. For more information on LLEG, please visit our websites at and

This communication contains statements expressing expectations of future events and/or results which may include, without limitation, statements concerning anticipated financial performance, business prospects, technological developments, potential markets, new products, research and development activities and similar matters. Such statements constitute forward-looking statements made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements based on future expectations rather than historical facts are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties, and LLEG cannot provide assurance that such statements will prove to be correct. LLEG undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Laidlaw Energy Group, Inc.
Michael B. Bartoszek, 212-480-9884
[email protected]


Now this looks like a spammer.

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