Air Liquide plans to build CO2 plant at Bionol Clearfield

By Holly Jessen | April 29, 2011

Although nobody drinks the ethanol produced at Bionol Clearfield LLC, in the future the CO2 produced in the plant will show up as fizz in soda pop. Air Liquide USA LLC wants to build a carbon dioxide recovery plant next to the 110 MMgy ethanol plant in Clearfield, Pa. “We are pretty far along on the development of that project,” George Smalley, director of corporate communications for Air Liquide said. “We are working with the borough of Clearfield on variance to make that project happen.”

Air Liquide hopes to begin construction this year and get the facility operating about a year later. The plant will directly employ about four people as well as five to 10 delivery truck drivers.

The plant will recover gasses from the ethanol plant to be compressed and cooled before liquefying and distillation to remove impurities. The plant will produce beverage-grade liquid CO2, which will be shipped via truck or rail. In addition, some of the product will be shipped to other facilities and converted to dry ice, which is used to refrigerate food and pharmaceutical products during transport, the company said.

Air Liquide (pronounced li-keed) has about 5,000 employees in more than 200 locations in the U.S. The company operates more than 130 industrial gas manufacturing facilities.

Bionol is the first commercial-scale ethanol plant built in Pennsylvania. The plant produced its first ethanol December 2009 and wrapped up commissioning in February 2010.