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Sunflower Electric – Recycling Waste & By-products

August 25th, 2006 | No Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

One more example of how gradually traditional power generation companies have started integrating their operations with alternative fuels, including algal oil.


The planned expansion of the coal-fired generating capacity at Sunflower Electric Power Corp.’s Holcomb complex isn’t the only energy project in the works here.

Teaming with the Kansas Bioscience Authority and a Kansas State University body, company officials are moving forward with plans for a series of parallel, on-site facilities that also would generate ethanol, biodiesel and methane. Byproducts would be recycled among the various facilities, boosting production efficiencies and minimizing the amount of unused waste…

“When the cycle is complete, there is no waste,” said Sunflower President”…

Individual technologies that would help produce the biofuels would all be combined into one complex – the Sunflower Integrated Bioenergy Center. “If we’re able to build this, there’ll be people flying in to see how it’s done”.

Sunflower, which is based in Hays, plans to build three 700-megawatt coal-fired generators adjacent to its existing 360-megawatt plant starting next year. The bioenergy center would consist of an ethanol plant, a biodiesel plant, an algae reactor and an anaerobic digester.

As envisioned in a complex flow chart outlining the plans, waste from one facility would be used to help power another. For instance, flue gas, or combustion exhaust, from the coal-fired generators would be fed into the algae reactor, which would produce the algae oil that would power the biodiesel plant.

Manure, animal fat, paunch and wastewater from area feedlots, packing plants and dairies also would figure heavy in the mix. Fat, more properly known as tallow, would help run the biodiesel plant, while wastewater and manure would be fed into the anaerobic digester, which would generate the methane that would help run the ethanol plant….

…Funding likely would come from the private developers involved. The feds and the Kansas Bioscience Authority, an independent state body that promotes biosciences, could also pitch in.

Work on the first element, probably the ethanol plant, could start as soon as next year….

…The rising price of petroleum on global markets is making such projects more and more feasible and attractive. The presence of feedlots, dairies and related entities, meanwhile, makes southwest Kansas a natural locale for them.

For the full news item see link – http://www.hutchnews.com/news/regional/stories/Sunflower082406.shtml


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