Broin Companies of South Dakota plans to build a cellulose-to-ethanol production facility in the state of Iowa with a completion date expected in 2009.
The announcement came during a joint press conference Monday at the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines with Jeff Broin, CEO of Broin Companies, Iowa Governor Thomas Vilsack, and Iowa Governor-Elect Chet Culver.
Voyager Ethanol, located in Emmetsburg, Iowa, will be converted from a 50 million gallon per year (MGPY) conventional corn dry mill facility into a 125 million gallon per year commercial scale bio-refinery designed to utilize advanced corn fractionation and lignocellulosic conversion technologies to produce ethanol from corn fiber and corn stover. Broin Companies has applied for matching grant funds through the U.S. Department of Energy to assist with the project.
Known as Project LIBERTY, the expansion will utilize an existing infrastructure with projected costs for the project at just over $200 million dollars. Pilot research for this project has been conducted and the expansion is slated to begin in February with a commercial production timeline set approximately 30 months later. Project LIBERTY, which stands for Launch of an Integrated Bio-refinery with Eco-sustainable and Renewable Technologies in Y2009, will create commercialization results that include 11 percent more ethanol from a bushel of corn and 27 percent more ethanol from an acre of corn while using 83 percent less energy needed to operate a corn to ethanol plant.