Ethanol can be produced at Kraft pulp and paper mills using the near-neutral process developed at the University of Maine. In addition to ethanol, there are additional products that may be produced, including natural gas. This report compares some characteristics of ethanol produced with wood via fermentation versus that by corn. We also identify various means of transport available to Kraft pulp and paper mills in Maine, including pipelines, trucking and rail.
While the use of pipelines for natural gas and crude oil in Maine is well established, few Kraft pulp and paper mills will find it compelling at the outset to transport any product via pipeline given volume requirements and consistently high biofuels prices needed to justify fixed-cost pipeline expenditures. Rather, since Maine’s pulp and paper mills already have well-established relationships with both rail and trucking services, any marginal expansion of their product lines to include liquid or gas products should rely primarily on their existing product transportation infrastructure. As many Kraft pulp and paper mills evolve increasingly large and effective biorefinery capabilities, the subsequent shipment of biofuels could be beneficial both to the mills and to the transport companies that will get them to market, providing the foundation for larger scale biofuels production and transportation infrastructure in the years to come.