Demise of Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

01/13/2022

EGG-NEWS has long maintained that cellulosic ethanol is an aspirational goal that has proven financially infeasible and technically overwhelming. Despite considerable investment in research and the erection of pilot plants, commercial production of ethanol using biomass has never been attained. Despite this reality the Renewable Fuels Standard persists in perpetuating the myth of cellulosic ethanol by incorporating an ever-growing provision from plant material. 

 

DuPont designed and erected a plant in Nevada, IA. that broke ground in 2012 and opened in 2015.  The facility was a financial disaster and ceased production shortly after commissioning.  In 2018, Verbio of Germany purchased the mothballed plant with the intention of applying proven technology to generate biomethane from corn stover.  As reconfigured, the Verbio plant will convert 100,000 tons of stover each year to produce the equivalent of 20 megawatts of biomethane. Conversion of the plant required considerable investment and 30 months for modifications and installations.

 

 

The plant began delivering gas into the network of Alliant Energy on December 8th. This public utility will dispense the product at compressed natural gas filling stations.

 

Claus Sauter, CEO of Verbio AG noted, “This was our first major foreign investment and our entry into the North American market.  We have expanded the plant to include biomethane production based on the model we use at our German locations.”  Sauter added, “Our technology does not only create climate-friendly fuel and a high-value fertilizer, it also prevents the release of additional emissions from agricultural production that would have resulted from the corn stover being left on fields.”

 

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) stated, “I’m excited to welcome Verbio to Iowa. There has been a huge investment in the plant and it will have a tremendous impact on communities around the State.”










































































































































































































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