Tennessee Cellulosic Ethanol Demo Plant Opens

Cindy Zimmerman

Leaders from DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol (DDCE), University of Tennessee and Genera Energy gathered on Friday in Vonore, Tennessee to cut the ribbon on a new cellulosic ethanol demonstration facility. The 74,000-square-foot plant has now started producing ethanol from agricultural residue and bioenergy crops, including corncobs and switchgrass.

During the grand opening celebration, Kelly Tiller, CEO of Genera Energy and director of external operations for the UT Office of Bioenergy Programs, said, “The University of Tennessee Biofuels Initiative is the only fully integrated program that is working with farmers and agricultural industry to reliably supply the necessary feedstock so biorefineries can produce plentiful, affordable, renewable and sustainable fuels.” She said plans are for Tennessee farmers to place an additional 4,000 acres of switchgrass into production this spring, bringing the total production in the state to nearly 7,000 acres of the dedicated energy crop.

The state-of-the-art facility in Vonore has capacity to produce 250,000 gallons of ethanol annually, though its focus is on optimizing technologies for large-scale production.

Cellulosic, Ethanol, Ethanol News