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Army to allow methane plant on Fort Stewart
Developer looking for bulk gas production
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A Georgia company working to solve America's energy problem has teamed up with the federal government in an attempt to make millions of barrels of oil daily from virtually anything that grows out of the Earth.
Fort Stewart has been chosen as one of the pilot sites, and a spokesman there said the project is in the planning stages.
Bell Bio-Energy, Inc. says it has reached an agreement with the U.S. Defense Department to build seven test production plants, mostly on military bases, to quickly turn naturally grown material into fuel.
U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston said, “This is one time when the Army has shown great leadership. They have been proactive.
“The Army knew they needed energy so they have been looking around for alternative sources. It would have been easy for them to have overlooked an inventor/entrepreneur like J.C. Bell, but they didn’t,” Kingston said.
 J.C. Bell, the man behind the project, is optimistic the program will soon include a production facility.
"What this means is that with the seven pilot plants — the military likes to refer to them as demonstrations — with those being built … it gives us the real-time engineering data that we need to finish the designs for a full-scale production facility,” Bell said. "In 18 months or so, we will start manufacturing oil directly from waste and we will build up to about 500,000 barrels a day within two years. In another six months, we'll reach a million barrels a day."
Since the United States now imports about 13 million barrels of oil a day, the only obstacle then to total energy independence from foreign sources will be the money needed to develop the processing plants, Bell said.
 "Working with the USDA we've identified enough waste material around the country, we truly believe we can make the United States totally energy independent of foreign countries in about five years," Bell said.
World News Daily originally reported on the project in March as Bell, an agricultural researcher, confirmed he'd isolated and modified specific bacteria that will, on a large scale, naturally and rapidly convert plant material – including the leftovers from food – into hydrocarbons to fuel cars and trucks.
That means trash like corn stalks and corncobs – even the grass clippings from suburban lawns – can be turned into oil and gasoline to vehicles.
Bell said he made the discovery standing downwind from his cows at his food-production company, Bell Plantation, in Tifton.
"Cows are like people that eat lots of beans. They're really, really good at making natural gas," he said. "It dawned on me that that natural gas was methane."
Bell confirmed his agreement with the Army and the Department of Defense, which will build seven demonstration facilities built at Fort Benning and Fort Stewart in Georgia, Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort AP Hill in Virginia, Fort Drum in New York and Fort Lewis in Washington, as well as one more installation in San Pedro, Calif.
"We should have all of the plants running within 60 days," Bell said. "This is a big step in our growth, from the engineering that we develop with these plants, we will be able to build our full-scale production facilities and be in full production in the next 12 to 18 months.
He told World News Daily the first full-scale facility probably will cost $100 million to $125 million to build, and that an investment of $2.5 billion likely will be needed to reach a production level of a million barrels per day.
 But he said the return – even if the oil was sold for $70 a barrel, just half of what it was going for six weeks ago and still substantially lower than the current market rate of about $110 a barrel – would be significant.
"It will feel very, very good to be to the point where we finally turn off the spigot from overseas," Bell said.
The process has been verified, said Dr. Art Robinson, a research professor of chemistry at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine who publishes the Access to Energy newsletter. "These other ways [of producing energy] work. The only question is if they're competitive in price. Any hydrocarbon under pressure and temperature can turn into oil."
 How big does Bell believe the process eventually could be?
 "With minor changes in the agricultural and forestry products, we could create two to two and a half billion tons of biomass a year, and you're looking at five billion barrels of oil per year," he said.

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