The Future of Trash is Fuel

Innovation
The world’s population creates an estimated 2.6 trillion pounds of garbage every year. The United States alone produced 251 million tons in 2012, making it the largest trash producer that year. Where does all that garbage go? From the trash can in your kitchen to the end of its lifecycle, garbage ultimately ends up in a number of different places, including landfills, incinerators, recycling centers or as pollution in our oceans and communities. Recycling has helped to reduce landfill capacity levels, but what if there was a way to further reduce the amount of trash that’s left behind? Abengoa’s newest technology, waste to biofuels (W2B), will alter the garbage lifecycle as we know it. It’s a simple concept: turning waste into biofuels—but the process is pretty sophisticated. Based on first-…
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The Future of What’s Left Behind

Innovation
Abengoa’s patented second-generation (2G) cellulosic biotechnology process breaks down the tough fibers in corn stover to create naturally derived ethanol fuel. Let's see the science behind how we’re turning natural sugars in corn stover — the inedible stalks and husks left over after the harvest — into the next great renewable fuel with new enzymes that will help bring about a revolution in sugar-based, renewable materials.
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Abengoa Bioenergy joins industry elite

Innovation
Bioenergy is a long-haul business. Changing the trajectory of a 150-year-old industry takes patience. And when progress is measured in years, you rarely get to stop for a moment and celebrate a definitive milestone. But we’re doing that this month. Abengoa Bioenergy was just ranked one of the top 10 hottest bioenergy companies in the world out of more than 100,000 global companies. The annual rankings from Biofuels Digest recognize “innovation and achievement in fuels and integrated biorefinery development” and are the result of individual voting by both a panel of experts and the magazine’s readership. We’re particularly pleased that it’s our ongoing work with cellulosic ethanol production and the launch of our first commercial-scale biorefinery in Kansas that pushed us to the forefront. Among Biofuels Digest’s 50 hottest companies, more…
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Innovating in America’s heartland

Innovation
At Abengoa, we believe progress hinges on finding new paths to moving forward. This month, we’re putting this approach into practice in Kansas, where we’re partnering with local producers to fuel our first commercial-sized cellulosic ethanol plant. Located in Hugoton, Kan., a small town in the state’s southwest, Abengoa Bioenergy Hybrid of Kansas (ABHK) isn’t a traditional ethanol plant. As a second-generation facility, it doesn’t require food crops to produce ethanol (the way first-generation plants do), but instead, uses corn stover — a byproduct of the typical corn harvest. Stover, which includes inedible husks, stalks and leaves, usually lies unused after a normal harvest. So, while our plant relies on the local harvest for biomass fuel, it doesn’t disrupt traditional food supplies in order to produce the 25 million gallons…
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Rural innovation, urban transformation

Innovation
If there’s one thing the people of Abengoa have learned, it’s this: Innovation has a forward momentum all its own. Like an irrepressible stream, technology constantly moves forward as one innovator builds upon the work of another; as one advancement leads to the next. It’s this unstoppable progression that’s taken Abengoa from the wind-swept cornfields of Kansas to the urban landfills of Salamanca, Spain, asking this question: If we can turn agricultural waste (corn stover) into energy, can we do it with urban solid waste? The signs are pointing to “yes.” Since July of 2013, Abengoa’s demonstration plant in Salamanca has been turning batches of solid municipal waste into ethanol with promising results — and the company is looking to bring the technology to urban centers in the U.S. Bioethanol…
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