DDCE, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DuPont, has entered into an agreement to purchase a parcel of land in Nevada, Iowa, adjacent to Lincolnway Energy LLC’s conventional ethanol plant. It is DDCE’s next step toward building one of the world’s first commercial-scale biorefineries to produce fuel-grade ethanol from cellulose, in this case stover – dried cobs, stalks and leaves left after grain harvesting. DDCE is successfully producing cellulosic ethanol at its pre-commercial facility in Vonore, TN, and is scaling up the process to globally license its end-to-end production system.
“We’re producing cellulosic ethanol sustainably and economically today, and the market is ready and interested to deploy large-scale biorefineries,” says Joe Skurla, CEO of DDCE. “We are purchasing the site next to Lincolnway because it will meet the business needs for our project, and provides potential economic and environmental synergies for both facilities.” The DDCE process is designed to make fuel from a variety of cellulosic biomass. This includes wheat and corn stover, and energy crops, including switchgrass.
DDCE also is launching its 2011 Stover Collection Program to enable a cost-effective supply of stover for the biorefinery project. The company is working closely with local grain producers to obtain commitments and collect thousands of tons of stover from Iowa fields this fall. DDCE is collaborating with Pioneer Hi-Bred, also a DuPont Company, and Iowa State University, to establish best practices in harvesting, storage, and transportation, and assure the agronomic and environmental integrity of cornfields. The cellulosic ethanol industry will provide opportunities for farmers to add value to their croplands.