Hearings and Business Meetings
May 1, 2006
SD-366 Energy Committee Hearing Room 02:30 PM
Mr. William Bruce
President, BRI Energy, LLC
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, good afternoon. It is a pleasure to be here. My name is William Bruce and I am appearing on behalf of my company, BRI Energy. I appreciate the invitation to appear before this Committee today and have the opportunity to share with you an exciting new ethanol technology developed over the past 15 years by many dedicated scientists and engineers and aided by the Department of Energy. As one of your esteemed colleagues told me recently, “You are really sitting on top of the right technology, you just need to get it to the appropriate people.”
BRI Energy is now ready to commercialize a validated technology that can cost effectively produce ethanol and electricity from any carbon material. This technology can utilize carbon from coal, petroleum coke, agriculture products, and even municipal solid waste. In the simplest of descriptions, we have a patented process that uses heat in modern gasification equipment to break apart carbon molecules, creating a syngas that is converted, via a biocatalytic process, into ethanol. For example, we are able to produce approximately 150 gallons of ethanol per dry ton of coal. I am submitting a technology summary for the record that details the technical specifics of our process.
In short, BRI’s technology is a breakthrough for three reasons:
1. Our process is Environmentally Friendly
2. Our process is Economically Viable
3. Our process uses “Home Grown” Energy
First, our commitment to the environment and reduction of greenhouse gases is to produce ethanol and electricity with little or no air emissions. I am proud to announce today that we have been successful in meeting that commitment at our demonstration facility, which has been operating for two years. The only air emissions produced through our process will come when the ethanol we produce is combusted in an automobile by the end-user.
Second, the passage of last year’s National Energy Policy has laid some very important foundation blocks for us. Our next step is to gain the approval of the financial community by building a commercial scale plant and demonstrating that this technology holds the most cost effective means to produce ethanol and electricity through gasification. We hope that the numerous loan guarantee provisions in the current energy legislation will help us to achieve this goal. With the assistance of a federal loan guarantee, a 7,000,000 gal/yr coal to ethanol production facility can be constructed and fully operational within 1 year. In light of the many challenges in today’s fuel and energy economy, we are able to offer a viable economic solution.
Third, our process uses domestic sources of feedstock to produce ethanol and electricity. As I stated, we can utilize any carbon-based material to produce both ethanol and electricity. But as you all know, the United States is the Saudi Arabia of coal, and with the abundance of coal located throughout most of the nation, our technology will allow each state to have its own commercially viable ethanol production facility.
We have been working quietly to arrive at this point in time with a technology that has been technically studied and accepted by private international engineering firms and uses commercially available equipment. I can sit before you today and clearly state that a real solution is now available to make a significant contribution to solving our nation’s energy challenges, especially in assisting our country in eliminating the need to import foreign oil.
In closing, I would like to reiterate that our technology is a plausible energy solution because it is environmentally friendly, economically viable, and uses home-grown resources.
Again, I truly appreciate this opportunity and would be happy to address any questions that you may have.