Senator Ernst, Governor Branstad and Quad County Corn Processors discuss future of renewable fuels

Source: By Storm Lake Pilot Tribune • Posted: Monday, September 12, 2016

GALVA – Senator Joni Ernst and Governor Terry Branstad recently met with staff and board members from Quad County Corn Processors (QCCP) and representatives from Syngenta, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association and the Iowa Corn Growers Association to discuss opportunities to grow demand for Earth-friendly American ethanol. QCCP is the site of the world’s first commercial cellulosic ethanol facility (using corn kernel fiber as feedstock).

Items on the agenda included the need for high compression engines to be manufactured by auto companies and a Reid Vapor Pressure waiver for E15. Both are seen as critical to making the benefits of renewable fuels more broadly available.

According to Gov. Branstad, renewable fuels are key to the state’s economic development, as well as the country’s energy independence.

“Renewable fuel is something I’m very passionate about,” Branstad said. “Renewable fuels are important for Iowa and they are important for America. A robust Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) will continue to diversify our nation’s transportation fuels, add value to commodities grown in rural America, reduce emissions, and provide consumers low-cost choices at the pump.”

Sen. Ernst added that Iowa leads the nation in ethanol production, producing enough E-85 each year to drive a pickup truck around the Earth’s equator 2.4 million times.

“The RFS ensures our national fuel supply provides increased consumer choice, decreases dependence on foreign oil, improves the environment, and creates jobs for those in Iowa — and across the country,” Ernst said.

Making ethanol even more sustainable

According to the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 34 percent compared to gasoline. Moreover, advanced biofuels have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 100 percent.

Today, advances in cellulosic technology are helping to make ethanol even more sustainable and produce more ethanol from the same kernel of corn.

“Adding corn fiber-to-cellulosic ethanol technology at every existing dry mill ethanol plant across the U.S. would have a significant effect on greenhouse gas reductions,” said QCCP CEO Delayne Johnson. “The potential reduction would be equivalent to removing as many as 2.98 million passenger cars from the road, or 4.1 average coal-fired plants, or the amount of carbon sequestered by as many as 13.3 million acres of forest.”

To date, QCCP has produced 5 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol, which represents 90 percent of total U.S. cellulosic ethanol production (D3 RINs) in the last three years. Cellerate is marketed to ethanol plants in North America exclusively by Syngenta along with Enogen® corn enzyme technology, an in-seed innovation that features the first biotech corn output trait designed specifically to enhance ethanol production.

“Ethanol is helping America reduce its dependence on foreign oil, improve the environment, lower prices at the pump and grow the economy with jobs that can’t be outsourced,” said Jack Bernens, head of Enogen at Syngenta. “QCCP helped kick off a new era for the biofuels industry when it opened its commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol facility. By helping to squeeze more ethanol from the same kernel of corn, Cellerate technology enhanced by Enogen corn can help make ethanol even more sustainable.”