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POET-DSM’s first commercial cellulosic bio-ethanol plant on schedule for startup in first part of 2014

POET-DSM Advanced Biofuel’s first commercial cellulosic bio-ethanol plant remains on schedule for startup in the first part of 2014 as workers continue equipment installation and other activity through the winter. (Earlier post.)

The plant, dubbed “Project LIBERTY,” will produce 20 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel per year—later ramping up to 25 million gallons—from corn cobs, leaves, husk and some stalk. Commissioning for select parts of the process is scheduled to begin in January.

Construction progress to date includes:

  • Biomass receiving and grinding building is mechanically complete, and biomass processing equipment is nearly ready for commissioning.

  • Saccharification, fermentation tanks and processing areas are nearing mechanical completion and commissioning.

  • Other processing areas are nearing mechanical completion as construction continues.

  • Cooling tower construction is complete.

  • Underground utilities and electrical power infrastructure are mechanically complete.

Farmers primarily in a 40-mile radius to the plant harvested approximately 100,000 tons of biomass this fall to be used to start the plant and operate it through next fall. Farmers are already signing contracts for the 2014 harvest.

Additionally, POET-DSM is in talks with other ethanol producers about expanding this technology to more plants around the US in the future.

Royal DSM and POET, LLC, one of the world’s largest ethanol producers, formed a joint venture in January 2012 to demonstrate and license commercial cellulosic bioethanol production based on their proprietary and complementary technologies.

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