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Iowa plant making ethanol from old cardboard boxes

May 28, 2010
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CEDAR RAPIDS, IA — About 95 percent of old corrugated containers can be recycled into new paper, but the remaining unusable fiber goes into a mill''s waste stream. And for International Paper''s Cedar River containerboard mill in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which produces 1 million tons a year of recycled paper for packaging made from old corrugated containers, that is a lot of valuable fiber that goes unused, according to Earth and Industry.
International Paper, one of the largest paper companies in the world, is partnering with Maryland-based Fiberight to take 50,000 tons of residual fiber waste each year from the Cedar Rapids containerboard mill and turn it into fuel-grade ethanol, the article stated.
"Everyone from the average household to large industrial manufacturers is focused on reducing waste. But the reality is that there will always be a significant waste stream in this country," said Fiberight Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Craig Stuart-Paul.
Fiberight said the residual fiber waste from International Paper provides excellent base-load feedstock for the biorefinery and that the resulting fuel represents an 80-percent reduction in carbon emissions as compared to gasoline.
When fully operational, the company hopes to produce 6 million gallons of ethanol per year, the article noted.
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