DuPont launches cellulosic ethanol plant in US

The company’s cellulosic technology will greatly impact transportation energy supply with predictions of 90% cleaner fuel from biomass

DuPont’s cellulosic ethanol plant is based in Nevada, Iowa, US.
DuPont’s cellulosic ethanol plant is based in Nevada, Iowa, US.

DuPont has launched a cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, US. 

Credited as being the world’s largest cellulosic ethanol plant, DuPont’s biorefinery is capable of producing 30mn gallons per year of clean fuel. Additionally the generated fuel will offer a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as compared to gasoline.

Corn stover, which includes the stalks, leaves and cobs, served as the primary raw material used to produce the ethanol for the clean fuel. Roughly 500 local farmers within a 30mile radius of the facility will supply DuPont with 375,000 dry tons of stover annually.

The launch of the facility will create 85 full-time jobs at the plant, as well as 150 seasonal local jobs in Iowa.

Commenting on the launch of the facility, Terry Branstad, governor of Iowa, shared: “Today we celebrate the next chapter in that story, using agricultural residue as a feedstock for fuel, which brings both tremendous environmental benefits to society and economic benefits to the state.”

He added: “The opening of DuPont’s biorefinery represents a great example of the innovation that is possible when rural communities, their government and private industry work together toward a common goal.”

The launch of the facility marks the start of a global strategy that will see the science company increase its presence within the international biofueld industry. In Asia, DuPont has already signed its first licensing agreement with New Tianlong Industry to build China’s largest cellulosic ethanol plant.

Similarly in Europe, the company has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ethanol Europe and the government of Macedonia for the development of a second-generation biorefinery project.

William F. Feehery, president of DuPont Industrial Biosciences, commented: “Today, we fulfill our promise to the global biofuels industry with the dedication of our Iowa facility… cellulosic biofuel is joining ranks with wind and solar as true alternatives to fossil fuels, reducing damaging environmental impacts and increasing our energy security.”

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