Cellulosic ethanol pioneers like Jeff Broin of POET are confident about the future of next generation fuels, even if the country fails to reach the Renewable Fuel Standard mandate of 100 million gallons of production next year.
“To be honest with you, that number was picked out of thin air, so the chance that we do or don’t make it is certainly a risk,” Broin said during an interview at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting annual meeting last week. “The industry is moving ahead as quickly as it can. But I think we will gain on that number in the future and I am very, very bullish about the future of cellulosic ethanol.”
POET is one of several companies on the front lines of developing cellulosic ethanol technology and feedstocks and Broin says the government has been helpful in getting some grants out to build initial plants. “Once we have the first couple plants, I believe the investment will come very quickly,” Broin said.
Broin remains bullish on corn ethanol as well as cellulosic, especially since the primary feedstock for POET’s pilot plant is corn cobs and stover. “We have plenty of grain this year, we’re going to have too much grain in the future, so we need to look at what we are going to do to turn that grain into energy and food.”
Listen to my interview with Jeff Broin from NAFB here.