The U.S. Department of Energy has announced the awarding of grants to fund six cellulosic ethanol projects nationwide.
Among them is Broin Companies’ $200 million expansion of a conventional corn dry mill facility in Emmetsburg, Iowa into a bio-refinery that will include production of cellulosic ethanol from corn cobs, according to a Broin release.
Energy Secretary Samual Bodman made the announcement this morning, stating that “Broin will play a critical role in helping to bring cellulosic ethanol to market, and teaching us how we can produce it in a more cost effective manner.”
Jeff Broin, CEO of Broin Companies was with Bodman in Washington when the announcement was made. “Our goal is to bring cellulosic ethanol to commercial viability by the end of the decade in order to reduce global warming, revitalize the rural economy and lessen our country’s dependency on foreign oil,” said Broin. “This partnership with the Department of Energy, along with the collaboration of companies like DuPont and Novozymes and the farmers around Emmetsburg, Iowa, will allow us to achieve significant progress toward these goals.”
Known as Project LIBERTY, the expansion will utilize an existing infrastructure with projected costs for the increased capabilities at just over $200 million dollars. The expansion will take approximately 30 months and is slated to begin as soon as the terms of the agreement with the DOE are finalized.
Project LIBERTY, which stands for Launch of an Integrated Bio-refinery with Eco-sustainable and Renewable Technologies in Y2009, will provide deliverables that include 11 percent more ethanol from a bushel of corn and 27 percent more ethanol from an acre of corn, while consuming 24 percent less water and using 83 percent fewer fossil fuels than what is needed to operate a corn to ethanol plant.