As the corn harvest is winding down through the Midwest, Project Liberty is just ramping up on its collection of light corn stover and corn cobs. This fall is the first major cellulosic feedstock harvest for the biorefinery that is expected to be in full production sometime in the first half of 2012. Recently, Project Liberty was highlighted during “Market to Market” on Iowa Public Television.
Once Project Liberty is successfully up and running, POET hopes to produce 3.5 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol by 2022. As specified in the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2), the country needs to use 36 billion gallons of biofuels by 2022 with a minimum of 16 billion gallons coming from advanced biofuels and/or cellulosic ethanol. While the cellulosic numbers have not been met this year and are not expected to be met in 2011, things should rapidly change as cellulosic producers, such as POET, ramp up to commercial scale production levels.
Mike Roth, POET’s Director of Biomass stated in the piece, “It’s a brand new industry within ethanol, which is relatively new, being about 20 years old. We still call ethanol a very immature industry. There is still a lot to learn and a lot of efficiencies to be gained. And this is adding a whole new component to it that really changes the game.”
Ultimately the technology developed by POET is designed to be “bolted-on” to current corn-ethanol facilities, eliminating the need to build new biorefineries to meet the country’s biofuels demands.
You can follow Project Liberty’s progress here.