Cellulosic Ethanol Close to Commercial

John Davis

Domestic Fuel CastDoubts about commercial opportunities for cellulosic ethanol are evaporating:

“It is no longer a question of if we are able to produce cellulosic ethanol, but when,” POET CEO Jeff Broin said.

Jeff announced POET’s commitment to develop a commercial cellulosic ethanol plant in Elmersville, Iowa at the Ethanol Conference and Trade Show in Omaha, Nebraska earlier this month. Construction on what POET is calling “Project Liberty” will begin in 2009 and the company expects the facility to be online by 2011. But, POET promises to have a smaller pilot-scale facility up and running by the end of this year.

Jeff says now is an optimal time to take advantage of cellulosic energy because, as he sees it, the industry has sustained strong progress with investments from private industry and academia:

“The stars are beginning to align for cellulosic ethanol,” Jeff said.

POET’s commercial cellulosic plants will process feed stock corn cobs and corn fiber. But, corn isn’t the only source for cellulosic ethanol production that’s poised to go commercial. Bill Schafer, senior vice president of business development Range Fuels, says his company is investing in processing woody biomass for cellulosic ethanol production in Georgia.

In this DomesticFuel Cast, we hear from Jeff Broin, CEO of POET, and Bill Schafer, senior vice president of business development Range Fuels. Here is the Domestic Fuel Cast #8:

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