“Commercial development of cellulosic ethanol is a reality,” said Jim Collins, president, DuPont Industrial Biosciences at the Fuel Ethanol Workshop (FEW) in June. DuPont Industrial Biosciences, for example, has already been producing cellulosic ethanol for the last two years at a demonstration plant in Vonore, Tenn. The cellulosic ethanol produced here has helped to fuel vehicles at the University of Tennessee, Collins said.
DuPont Industrial Biosciences’ next big project will be a commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant co-located with Lincolnway Energy’s existing corn starch ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa. Construction of the new plant is planned for this fall. The site was chosen because it is a well-managed plant with access to rail, Collins said. The new facility will be capable of producing 28 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year and will require approximately 350,000 tons of biomass annually.
Collins said that DuPont as well as Abengoa Bioenergy, POET/DSM and BP Biofuels will produce nearly 110 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol when completed. These facilities alone could generate more than $60 million in additional annual revenue for farmers and create more than 500 direct new jobs, Collins told FEW attendees.
In March, DuPont won the 2012 Sustainable Biofuels Award in the Sustainable Feedstock Innovation Category for its Stover Harvest Collection Project. The company received the award at the World Biofuels Markets 2012 Congress in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. This project has involved agronomists from DuPont’s Pioneer Hi-Bred business and Iowa State University. Together they worked with custom harvest equipment manufacturers and more than 50 local farmers.
The project has yielded important information about biomass collection, transport and storage of corn stover for conversion to biofuel. Going into its third year this year, the project is expected to involve up to 150 farmers. The biomass collected will be used at the new cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa. More info on the project and DuPont’s work in biofuels can be found at biofuels.dupont.com.