Ethanol From Corn Cobs

Cindy Zimmerman

POETAt the 2007 Fuel Ethanol Workshop in St. Louis on Wednesday, the nation’s largest dry-mill ethanol producer announced the successful production of cellulosic ethanol from corn cobs.

POETAt a press conference, POET CEO Jeff Broin said, “Along with corn fiber, cobs will be the primary feedstock we will use to make cellulosic ethanol at our proudction facillity in Iowa. For a host of reasons, POET is focused on corn fiber and cobs as the first cellulosic feedstock for our production facilities. First, the fiber that comes from our fractionation process will provide 40 percent of our cellulosic feedstock from the corn kernels that we are already processing in our facility. That means that nearly half of our cellulosic feedstock comes with no additional planting, harvest, storage or transportation needs.”

POETDr. Mark Stowers, VP of Research & Development for POET, says they expect the use of corn cobs for ethanol production to result in an 11 percent increase in the amount of ethanol per bushel of corn. “And when you look at it on an acreage basis, that’s about 27 percent more ethanol per acre.”

Broin says they are still researching the value of the corn cobs, but they are anticipating paying famers between $30 and $60 per ton, “which should make it economically viable as a profit center for them.”

The cellulosic project LIBERTY that POET is jointly funding with the Department of Energy will convert an existing 50 million gallon per year dry-mill ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa into a commercial cellulosic biorefinery.

Listen to Broin’s press conference announcement here: [audio:]

Read press release from POET.

RFAThanks to the Renewable Fuels Association for sponsoring coverage on Domestic Fuel of the 2007 Fuel Ethanol Workshop.

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