Here’s a new word to add to your eco vocab: trashanol, an ethanol fuel made from cardboard.
International Paper and Fiberight have partnered to create an ethanol fuel from cardboard that is expected to emit 80 percent less carbon emissions that regular gasoline.
The International Paper Cedar River mill produces 1 million tons of recycled paper per year for corrugated packing from old corrugated containers.
However, about 5 percent of the fibers from old corrugated containers cannot be recycled, adding up to about 50,000 tons of fiber waste per year.
Fiberight approached the paper mill in late 2008 with its idea of using residual fiber to make ethanol, explains Todd Olstad, operations manager at Fiberight.
“Through Fiberight’s new facility, we can now be assured that whatever recycled fiber can’t be made into new packaging can be used to create green energy, while helping us offset our disposal costs,” Olstad says.
The Blairstown plant, where Fiberight will process the paper waste, expects to reach full capacity sometime in 2011, producing up to 6 million gallons of ethanol annually.
Every day, U.S. papermakers recycle enough paper to fill a 14 mile long train of boxcars. Every ton of paper that is recovered saves 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, according to the American Forest and Paper Association.
Fiberight expects to introduce organic pulps made from residential trash to the waste stream this month.