Thursday, January 31, 2008From an article by Tom Content and Joel Dresang in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
A Wisconsin Rapids paper mill received a $30 million federal grant Tuesday to produce diesel fuel from wood waste over the next four years.
The NewPage Corp. paper mill was one of four projects that received $114 million in funding over four years under a Department of Energy small-scale biorefinery program launched last year. Another Wisconsin mill, Flambeau River Papers in Park Falls, was passed over for a grant.
The award for the former Stora Enso North America mill marked the second time in a year that the federal agency has selected Wisconsin for funding biofuels that will cut dependence on oil and reduce global warming emissions from vehicle tailpipes. Last year, the University of Wisconsin-Madison was awarded $125 million to establish one of three bioenergy research centers in the nation.
The grants are designed to speed the introduction of next-generation biofuels - those that aren't made from corn kernels - in a bid to make the new fuels competitive by 2012, said Andrew Karsner, assistant secretary of energy.
The NewPage project, which would generate up to 5.5 million gallons of diesel fuel a year by 2012, was picked because it was a "very good and unique proposal," he said. One of the largest paper mills in the nation, the Wisconsin Rapids plant would process nearly 500 dry tons per day of mill residues and other waste forest products and convert that into a liquid fuel, Karsner said.