Update: DuPont Closing Tennessee Cellulosic Ethanol Pilot Plant

Source: By Rachel Gantz, OPIS • Posted: Monday, January 4, 2016

DuPont Industrial Biosciences is closing its 250,000 gal/yr cellulosic ethanol pilot plant in Vonore, Tenn., by the end of the year.

According to a three-paragraph statement sent to OPIS this morning, DuPont Global Business Director for Advanced Biofuels Jan Koninckx said the plant is being closed “in an effort to streamline operations.”

As the statement noted, “DuPont partnered with the state of Tennessee to build and operate this pilot facility in 2009 [the plant opened in January 2010].
DuPont entered the partnership to develop the technology to scale up next- generation cellulosic ethanol technology to commercial capacity. That core mission has been fulfilled as demonstrated by DuPont’s recently opened 30 million gal/yr cellulosic ethanol facility in Nevada, Iowa, on Oct. 30. DuPont has invested over $85 million dollars in the Vonore piloting facility, contributing substantially to the local economy,” the company added.

“DuPont remains committed to the commercialization of cellulosic biofuel and will focus its resources on its Iowa facility and securing technology licensing opportunities around the world,” the statement from Koninckx added.

Meantime, earlier this month, DuPont and Dow Chemical announced plans to merge, closing in the second half of 2016.