DuPont Says This Will Revolutionize Ethanol Production - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

DuPont Says This Will Revolutionize Ethanol Production

By: Jason Rantala


A first of its kind manufacturing plant is looking to change the way we produce ethanol, and it's being built right here in central Iowa. 

Even while under construction,  DuPont's cellulosic ethanol plant sort of juts out of Nevada's flat landscape.

DuPont tested the first-of-its-kind plant in Tennessee, so now they're trying it out on a larger, 30-million-gallon per year, scale.

"Yeah, it's a pretty big deal," said DuPont's Plant Operations Manager Terraun Jones.

The plant will soon turn corn stover, the remnants of corn after harvest, into cellulosic ethanol.

"We're actually taking the opportunity to take the remains on the ground and actually turn it into fermentable sugars," said Jones.

The ethanol facility will turn the stover into sugars, then ethanol, before it's loaded onto railcars, shipped to California and blended with gasoline.

"We see this as an opportunity to remove ourselves from the food chain because currently right now you have to use food grain to make ethanol. This actually takes us out of the food chain and actually uses essentially biomass that would not have any recoverable value," said Jones.

Another big thing, DuPont says, is how the plant will generate jobs: 85 permanent positions in Nevada, not to mention the 300 construction workers already building it.

"For Nevada, for Iowa in general, it's actually a growth opportunity, both for job generation and for revenue generated for the state," said Jones.

DuPont says this is only the beginning.

"If you see the people around here they're very excited about what we're trying to do and we think this is the first step in a new evolution of technology that's going to go forward," said Jones. 

DuPont plans on building up to 100 of these plants in the next several years, and because they're using basically all of the corn plant, they say they'll be able to increase ethanol production around the world.

Construction is expected to wrap up at the end of this year.

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