Largest cellulosic ethanol plant opens

December 2015

Dupont has celebrated the opening of its cellulosic biofuel facility in Nevada, Iowa (USA).

The biorefinery is the world’s largest cellulosic ethanol plant, with the capacity to produce 30 million gallons per year of clean fuel that offers a 90 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as compared to gasoline.

The raw material used to produce the ethanol is corn stover – the stalks, leaves and cobs left in a field after harvest. The facility will demonstrate at commercial scale that non-food 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.

Vital to the supply chain and the entire operation of the Nevada biorefinery are close to 500 local farmers, who will provide the annual 375,000 dry tons of stover needed to produce this cellulosic ethanol from within a 30-mile radius of the facility. In addition to providing a brand-new revenue stream for these growers, the plant will create 85 full-time jobs at the plant and more than 150 seasonal local jobs in Iowa.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad remarked: “The opening of DuPont’s biorefinery represents a great example of the innovation that is possible when rural communities, their government and private industry work together toward a common goal.”

“Cellulosic biofuel is joining ranks with wind and solar as true alternatives to fossil fuels, reducing damaging environmental impacts and increasing our energy security,” said William F Feehery.

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