If every corn ethanol plant in the country were to convert to Cellerate bolt-on technology combined with Enogen® corn enzyme technology from Syngenta, the country could more than meet the goals for cellulosic biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard.
“There’s a one billion to two billion gallon opportunity in the United States without grinding anymore corn,” said Delayne Johnson, CEO of Quad County Corn Processors, which developed the Cellerate technology and has collaborated with Syngenta to license it to other plants.
QCCP is already producing most of the country’s cellulosic ethanol, which last year amounted to about 176 million gallons, lower than the 230 million gallon obligation for 2016 set by EPA under the Renewable Fuel Standard, leading the agency to lower the 2018 requirement to 238 million gallons from the 311 million set for this year. But with cellulosic production finally growing and a greater potential for more, QCCP and Syngenta are among the voices commenting to EPA that now is not the time to lower the standard.
Jeff Oestmann, head of accounts for Enogen at Syngenta, recently testified at the recent public hearing on the EPA’s latest proposed standards under the RFS. “I felt it was important to get in front of the EPA and tell our story on the cellulosic side and what we’ve been able to do with corn kernel fiber,” said Oestmann. “I had three minutes and I actually took six, so I think I got a lot across.”
Both Oestmann and Johnson are submitting comments to the EPA on the proposed rule before the deadline this week of August 31, and they encourage others to do so as well. Listen to interviews with both from the recent American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) annual conference.