This week, POET will begin biomass harvest research in corn fields near Navasota, Texas. This is part of an ongoing effort to learn more about the most efficient ways to harvest and store biomass for cellulosic ethanol production.
Project LIBERTY, the country’s soon-to-be largest corn cob and corn stover cellulosic-to-ethanol plant, located in Emmetsburg, Iowa, is also engaged in biomass harvesting tests with the Idaho National Laboratory. It is anticipated that the plant will become operational in early 2012.
This summer marks the third year that POET will conduct biomass harvesting field tests in the state. The region is ideal for the research because harvests occur earlier here than in the Midwest. Researchers will monitor the biomass going through the combine during grain harvest and compare it to what is later baled for use in ethanol production. In addition, researchers will analyze composition and moisture of the bales, integral components to the success of biomass storage.
“We’ve learned a lot about harvesting biomass over the last few years in Texas, South Dakota and Iowa,” POET Biomass Director Mike Roth said. “We will continue to add to our knowledge of the issue and share that information with farmers as they begin the commercial harvest for Project LIBERTY.”