Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


Audio Spot: Ground broken for state bioenergy refinery

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Oct. 15, 2008 — Ground was broken Tuesday in Monroe County for a new refinery to make ethanol from switch grass in a pilot project that includes the University of Tennessee and the state of Tennessee.

Gov. Phil Bredesen says the refinery could make Tennessee a leader in bioenergy production.

"I think this is a really good bet in that the basic technology is there," Bredesen said. "We just need to figure out how to turn it out of the lab and figure the type of production it takes to fuel cars across the state. This is a big step in that process."

Bredesen says Tennessee is well qualified when it comes to bioenergy.

"You've got the technology at UT and Oak Ridge," Bredesen said. "We've also got the farm land. There's water in Tennessee and the combination is powerful. It's really helping make us a leader."

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.