By Elsa Partan
Carbon County, WY – Carbon County wants to turn its beetle-kill into bio-fuel. A coalition of conservation districts plus the Carbon County Commissioners are hoping to build a factory near Encampment or Saratoga that will make use of trees killed by a rampant pine beetle infestation. It's similar to the idea of ethanol production, but using wood instead of corn.
Carbon County commissioner Jerry Paxton says the project is in the money-gathering stage. We have a group of investors from Colorado that are interested in doing a biomass fuel plant, that would use the products that are not usable for any other purpose to make bio-diesel and syngas and charcoal, that's another by-product of that, Paxton says.
The group is also applying for a $100,000 grant from the Forest Service, although the total bill is likely to be more than two million dollars. If all goes well, Paxton says they could break ground next spring.