The U.S. Department of Energy will award more than $76 million to POET for the commercialization of cellulosic ethanol production technology.
In February 2007, POET was selected by the DOE for a total award of up to $80 million in federal funding for the construction of a commercial cellulosic ethanol production facility. The first phase of the agreement was signed in October 2007 and provided POET with an initial $3.7 million for preliminary design, engineering and feedstock collection. The agreement announced today provides the remaining $76.3 million for final design, construction, start-up and continuous operation of Project LIBERTY.
Project LIBERTY, the transformation of a 50 MGPY grain-to-ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa into an integrated corn-to-ethanol and cellulose-to-ethanol biorefinery, is jointly funded by POET and the DOE. Once complete, the facility will produce 125 MGPY, of which 25 million gallons will be from corn fiber and corn cobs. By adding cellulosic production to an existing grain ethanol plant, POET will be able to produce 11 percent more ethanol from a bushel of corn and 27 percent more from an acre of corn while reducing fossil fuel consumption and water use. Construction is projected to begin in 2009 and production of cellulosic ethanol could come as early as 2011.