DuPont Begins Construction on Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

By Chemical Processing Staff

Dec 03, 2012

DuPont broke ground Nov. 30 on a $200 million cellulosic ethanol facility in Nevada, Iowa. The plant will be among the first and largest commercial-scale cellulosic biorefineries in the world, according to the company.

This new facility is expected to generate 30 million gallons annually of cellulosic biofuel produced from corn stover residues, a non-food feedstock that consists of corn stalks and leaves. This is more capacity than original estimates called for as data derived from DuPont’s piloting facility in Tennessee has allowed the company to further optimize our process and technology.

This first commercial facility will require a capital investment of about $7 per gallon of annual capacity.

To supply the corn stover for its plant, DuPont will contract with more than 500 local farmers to gather, store and deliver more than 375,000 dry tons of stover per year into the Nevada facility. In addition to the estimated 60 full-time plant operations jobs, there will more than over 150 individuals involved in the collection, stacking, transportation and storage of the stover feedstock seasonally during each harvest. The stover will be collected from an approximate 30 mile radius around the new facility and harvested off of 190,000 acres.

DuPont will further adapt its cellulosic ethanol technology to additional feedstocks. It is already processing switchgrass in the testing facility it owns jointly with the University of Tennessee near Knoxville, Tenn.

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