WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2015 - The world’s largest cellulosic ethanol biorefinery went online Friday, October 30, 2015 in Nevada, Iowa marked by a commissioning celebration featuring several Iowa dignitaries.
Biofuel support in Iowa is bi-partisan and Governor Terry Branstad took the stage calling on the EPA to “support the Iowa way”, which is “together in a bipartisan way, recognizing the benefits of renewable fuels and not being afraid to continue to move forward with these advancements”.
Branstad thanked DuPont for having the “courage and tenacity” to build the biorefinery in Iowa, noting cellulosic ethanol was a long-time coming, “but we’re proud the day is finally here and that it’s happening”.
“What is significant about today is that we’ve reinvented manufacturing itself,” said DuPont Industrial Biosciences President William Feehery. “Feeding renewable biomass into a commercial scale industrial facility. We’ve also reinvented how we think of and supply energy, and our next act will be reinventing how we turn those same agricultural feedstocks into to new types of materials that people use everyday.”
When at full capacity, the facility will produce 30 million gallons per year of advanced biofuel.
Some 85 people will be employed full-time at the plant, which is expected to create more than 150 seasonal jobs.
The raw material used to produce the ethanol is corn stover, which are the stalks, leaves and cobs left in a field after harvest. Local farmers will provide 375,000 dry tons of stover annually. “We’re talking about adding value to organic crop waste. More than 500 local farmers from a 30-mile radius will supply the biorefinery with their ‘post-harvest’ harvest each year,” said Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.
DuPont says the facility demonstrates at commercial scale that nonfood feedstocks from agriculture can be the renewable raw material to power the future energy demands of society. “Cellulosic ethanol will further diversify the transportation fuel mix just as wind and solar are expanding the renewable options for power generation.”
The majority of the fuel produced at the Nevada facility will be bound for California to fulfill the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), the state’s policy to reduce carbon intensity in transportation fuels. DuPont says the plant also will serve as a commercial-scale demonstration of cellulosic technology where investors from all over the world can see firsthand how to replicate this model in their home regions.
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