USDA Announces Support for Advanced Biofuel Plant

Cindy Zimmerman

An advanced biofuels project in Iowa is being offered support from the federal government for a plant to make fuel from waste material.

fiberightThe U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a conditional commitment for a $25 million guaranteed loan under the Biorefinery Assistance Program for Fiberight to build a biorefinery in Blairstown, Iowa.

The loan will be used to construct a 55,000 square foot facility that will produce cellulosic ethanol by converting municipal solid waste and other industrial pulps into advanced biofuels, as well as using conventional renewable biofuel derived from seed corn waste. When operational, the facility is expected to produce approximately 3.6 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year. The process will use a cellulosic microbe to produce up to 15 percent more ethanol than traditional fermentation technology, and reduce energy inputs in the fermentation and distillation process. Fiberight estimates the project will create 38 jobs and save 16 jobs.

”Advanced Biofuels are going commercial – and the innovation behind turning trash into biofuels demonstrates how our industry can create jobs and solve our nation’s energy needs,” says Adam Monroe, President of Novozymes North America. ”Novozymes is proud to be a partner to this project, supplying the enzymes to turn household and office waste into advanced biofuels. We applaud the federal government for its leadership in helping bring biofuels to market.”

NovozymesBiotech company Novozymes is one of Fiberight’s partners in the project. ”Advanced Biofuels are going commercial – and the innovation behind turning trash into biofuels demonstrates how our industry can create jobs and solve our nation’s energy needs,” says Adam Monroe, President of Novozymes North America.

Under the conditional commitment, Fiberight must meet specified conditions before the loan guarantee can be completed. Other funding comes from the State of Iowa. Fiberight also received a $2.5 million grant from the Iowa Power Fund in 2010. The company will work with the Benton County landfill to supply a portion of the feedstock for the project. The total project cost is estimated at $59.5 million. Fiberight, LLC was incorporated in 2007 for the purpose of converting an existing ethanol facility into a cellulosic ethanol facility in Blairstown.

advance biofuels, Cellulosic, corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News, USDA, Waste-to-Energy