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Arizona Dairy Group Building Integrated Dairy-Biofuels Operation

XL Dairy’s integrated dairy-biorefinery concept. Click to enlarge.

Arizona-based XL Dairy Group is building a biorefinery that combines a dairy operation with a biofuels plant and fractionation mill to produce ethanol, biodiesel, milk and dairy products, and animal feed, along with 100% of the energy required to run the plant.

XL Dairy Group projects that its $260 million project, located on 2,700 acres in Vicksburg, Arizona, will generate ethanol with an energy efficiency ratio of 10:1, compared to 1.2:1 for a conventional dry-grind corn ethanol plants and 8:1 for sugarcane plants. For every Btu of fossil fuel energy needed to produce ethanol and biodiesel, XL Dairy Group will produce 10 Btu.

To achieve that efficiency, and generate cost savings of $0.30 to $0.35 per gallon in ethanol production and $0.50 cents per hundred weight of milk, the company will convert waste streams from the 7,500 dairy cows as well as from the fractionation, biodiesel and ethanol processes into energy to power the entire project with recycled, renewable energy.

Environmentally, the project has significant advantages because of low emission of greenhouse gases through the conversion of waste streams to energy and a high energy efficiency ratio. Simply put: as the only biodiesel refinery in the nation with this level of energy efficiency, we will not be energy dependent on fossil fuels and volatile energy markets.

—XL Dairy Group Chairman and CEO Dennis Corderman

Expected output from the integrated operation includes:

  • 54 million gallons of ethanol per year

  • 5 million gallons of biodiesel per year

  • 11+ MW and 155,000 pounds of steam per hour

  • 525,000 pounds of milk per day

  • 110,000 tons of animal feeds per year

XL Dairy Group also is waiting for patent approval on a proprietary, low-cost algae production system, which will then be incorporated into the XL BioRefinery to lower operating costs and expand the production of motor fuels and animal feeds.

"Because algae has a higher oil content than corn, and needs much less acreage to produce much higher volumes, which we will do at the site, we expect to expand to 100 million gallons of ethanol and 25-30 million gallons of biodiesel over the next five years.

—Dennis Corderman

Carbon dioxide produced during the process will be captured and stored on site for sale in various applications including beverage carbonation, cooling and the production of dry ice.

E3 Biofuels has built a 20-mgpy (million gallons per year) ethanol plant at a cattle feedlot in Mead, Nebraska, that is also powered by methane from the cattle manure. (Earlier post.)

(A hat-tip to Derek!)




absolutely amazing. All these comments that looks like your patting them on the back. I live from paycheck to paycheck now and this just adds to it. Why is one generation out all mankind having to pay the price to turn around an act of nature that is going to occur with or without intervention. The last time this world acted up like this man was not around. This time man is around and along with his politics and all the money bags around looking to get rich off. We didn't cause this crisis and all the money you food you take off a man's table is not going to change it. Your all just packing the rich man's pockets.

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