May 21 (Renewables Now) - California-based company Fulcrum BioEnergy Inc last week celebrated the start of site construction of its Sierra BioFuels Plant in Nevada, which is to produce over 10.5 million gallons of fuel from waste annually.
The garbage-to-jet fuel facility in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center will process about 175,000 tonnes of household garbage per year. Commercial operations will start in the first quarter of 2020.
Fulcrum says Sierra will be the US' first commercial-scale plant of the kind. It will use the company’s proprietary thermochemical waste-to-fuel process.
“We've spent ten years developing, designing, testing, improving and demonstrating this new process so that it is now ready for commercial deployment. By converting waste into low-carbon transportation fuel, Fulcrum provides a real solution to the aviation industry's commitment to reduce carbon emissions,” said Fulcrum CEO Jim Macias.
The project will create 120 permanent plant operations jobs.
The company has also launched engineering, siting and permitting activities for its “next several projects”. These will be sited near large US metropolitan areas where Fulcrum has already agreed long-term feedstock supply, fuel logistics and fuel offtake agreements. Together, the firm’s future plants are expected to be able to produce over 300 million gallons of jet fuel per year.
Compared to traditional petroleum transportation fuels, Fulcrum's process is estimated to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by over 80%. US airline United Airlines and British oil and gas group BP (LON:BP) have made equity investments in Fulcrum in the past.