Poet-DSM plans to celebrate opening cellulosic ethanol plant in Emmetsburg Sept. 3

Source: Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Poet-DSM plans to celebrate the opening of its Emmetsburg cellulosic ethanol plant, called Project Liberty, Sept. 3.

The $250 million project will use 770 tons of corn cobs, leaves, husk and stalks daily to produce 20 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol a year, later ramping up to 25 million gallons per year.

The company said plant employees are now running the biomass through a pre-treatment process and preparing for its first gallons of ethanol.

The company, a joint venture, will provide public tours, lunch and a flyover by the ethanol-powered Vanguard Squadron, a four-ship aerobatic team that promotes using renewable fuel.

The project is a partnership between Poet, a South Dakota-based maker of ethanol, and DSM Royal, a Dutch maker of enzymes. Poet-DSM plan to license its technology to companies around the world, it said.

In July, Quad County Corn Processors became the first company in the state begin commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol production.

The Emmetsburg and Galva projects, along with DuPont Danisco’s $225 million cellulosic ethanol plant under construction in Nevada, are consider the next generation of renewable fuel, more environmentally friendlier than conventional corn ethanol.

It’s taken several years for the companies to develop the technology for commercial production.

All three companies produce corn ethanol at the same locations they’re adding cellulosic ethanol. DuPont and Poet-DSM projects use crop residue. Quad County converts the kernels’ corn fiber into cellulosic ethanol.