Biofuels DuPont brings world’s largest cellulosic ethanol plant online

Editor: Gerd Kielburger

DuPont shows its commitment to the cellulosic ethanol sector with the opening of its newest biorefinery in Iowa. With an annual production capacity of 30 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol, the facility tops the sector for output and makes strides towards meeting US government biofuel initiatives.

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View over the newest DuPont biorefinery in Iowa/USA with an annual capacity of 30 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol.
View over the newest DuPont biorefinery in Iowa/USA with an annual capacity of 30 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol.
(Picture: DuPont)

Nevada, Iowa/USA – The US chemical company DuPont has opened the world’s largest cellulosic ethanol plant, with the capacity to produce 30 million gallons per year of clean fuel. The cellulosic ethanol produced at the facility is derived from corn stover – the stalks, leaves and cobs left in a field after harvest. Close to 500 local farmers within a 30-mile radius of the biorefinery are in agreement to provide the 375,000 dry tons of stover needed annually to produce this cellulosic ethanol. The majority of the fuel produced has already been earmarked for California to fulfill that state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard in which the state has adopted a policy to reduce carbon intensity in transportation fuels.

The construction of the DuPont facility is the culmination of an industry response to the US government’s Renewable Fuel Standard. Among other things, this standard limits production of ethanol from starch-based feedstocks to 15 billion gallons to ensure there are enough feedstocks to meet demand in livestock feed, human food, and export markets.

Not surprisingly, the American “corn belt” has been the recent destination for several biofuel generating companies, and DuPont’s plant marks the fourth facility with the ability to produce cellulosic ethanol to be built in the Midwestern United States.

In Asia, DuPont recently announced its first licensing agreement with New Tianlong Industry to build China’s largest cellulosic ethanol plant, and last fall a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was announced between DuPont, Ethanol Europe and the government of Macedonia to develop a second-generation biorefinery project.

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