DuPont broke ground Friday on the
company's planned cellulosic ethanol facility in
Expected to be completed in mid-2014, the more than $200
million facility will be among the first and largest
commercial-scale cellulosic biorefineries in the
Nearly a decade ago, DuPont set out to develop innovative
technology that would result in low capital and low-cost
cellulosic ethanol production," said James C. Collins,
president of DuPont Industrial Biosciences. "We recognized
that science-powered innovation was the catalyst to make
cellulosic ethanol a commercial reality and to
help reduce global dependence on fossil fuels."
The new facility is expected to generate 30 million gal/year of
cellulosic biofuel produced from corn stover
residues, a non-food feedstock that consists of corn
stalks and leaves.
That represents more capacity than original estimates called
for, as data derived from the company's piloting facility in
Tennessee has allowed it to further optimize the
process and technology, according to company
This first commercial facility will require a capital
investment of about $7/gal of annual capacity, the company
By leveraging DuPont Pioneer corn production expertise
and designing an integrated technology platform, weve
built an affordable and sustainable entry point into this new
industry," Mr. Collins added.
"Were committed to continued productivity gains to drive
costs down even further for the coming generations of plants,
ones based on corn stover as well as other feedstocks.
Collins was joined by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad to celebrate
the official beginning of construction at a ceremony held at
the construction site adjacent to
the Lincolnway Energy grain ethanol facility.
During my previous terms as governor, we were excited
to bring ethanol production to the state,"
said Branstad. "After many hard years of work by Iowa
growers and technology companies like DuPont,
Iowa now leads the country in renewable fuel production.
"This site in Nevada is the next critical step in our
cellulosic ethanol journey. We look forward to bringing these
advanced technologies online, creating local jobs and helping
to deliver clean, sustainable energy.
To supply the corn stover for its plant, DuPont will
contract with more than 500 local farmers to gather, store and
deliver over 375,000 dry tpy of stover into the Nevada
facility, the company says.
In addition to the estimated 60 full-time plant operations
jobs, there will be over 150 individuals involved in the
collection, stacking, transportation and storage of the stover
feedstock seasonally during each
harvest. The stover will be collected from an approximate 30
mile radius around the new facility and harvested off of
a safety standpoint, the company notes that an
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) compliant,
peer reviewed life cycle assessment of the DuPont biorefinery and supply chain indicates
a potential greater than 100% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions compared to
The significant GHG reduction is enabled by use of
cellulosic co-products as a source of renewable energy. As
such, the DuPont biorefinery co-product is a material
that can displace coal in facilities currently burning this
Officials say regional businesses and academic institutions
have already indicated interest in exploring the potential use
of the renewable co-products to replace portions of their
We are excited to explore the various synergies
between Lincolnway and DuPont that bring value to both
companies," said Lincolnway Energy chairman Jeff
"One area is the possibility of using DuPonts cellulosic
ethanol co-product to replace our coal usage. Replacing our
fossil fuels with this renewable cellulosic ethanol co-product to generate heat
and power makes great sense. It is generated right next
door, would reduce our coal usage and the transportation costs
of shipping coal cars almost a thousand miles.