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Broin Companies to Expand Corn Ethanol Plant with Cellulose-to-Ethanol Commercial Production by 2009

Broin Companies, the nation’s largest dry mill ethanol producer, plans to build a cellulosic ethanol production facility in the state of Iowa with a completion date expected in 2009.

The company will convert Voyager Ethanol, located in Emmetsburg, Iowa, from a 50 million gallon per year (MGPY) conventional corn dry-mill facility into a 125 MGPY commercial scale bio-refinery designed to utilize advanced corn fractionation and lignocellulosic conversion technologies to produce ethanol from corn fiber and corn stover. Broin Companies has applied for matching grant funds through the US Department of Energy (DOE) to assist with the project.

Project LIBERTY—which stands for Launch of an Integrated Bio-refinery with Eco-sustainable and Renewable Technologies in Y2009—will produce 11% more ethanol from a bushel of corn and 27% more ethanol from an acre of corn while using 83% less energy needed to operate a corn-to-ethanol plant.

The need to commercialize cellulosic ethanol is apparent as the United States continues to move away from its dependency on oil. We have been working very hard at developing technologies and advancements the past several years to position Broin as a leader in this area, and the project in Emmetsburg is a major step toward reaching that goal.

—Jeff Broin, CEO of Broin Companies

The expansion will utilize an existing infrastructure with projected costs for the project at just more than $200 million dollars. Pilot research for this project has been conducted and the expansion is slated to begin in February with a commercial production timeline set approximately 30 months later.

Technology efforts for Project LIBERTY began several years ago and escalated when Broin and the DOE jointly funded a five-year research initiative to develop and improve dry mill fractionation with the assistance of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and South Dakota State University.

The project provided for the commercialization of Broin’s fractionation technology (BFrac), which together with Broin’s raw starch hydrolysis process (BPX), creates the foundation for biorefining. The results of BFrac include producing higher ethanol yields, but more importantly it creates additional value-added products and streams—including the intended use of fiber in the production of cellulose to ethanol.

In October, Broin and Novozymes announced a new collaboration to take the next steps needed to bring cost-effective ethanol derived from corn stover (cellulosic ethanol) to market. The collaboration is an extension of earlier significant partnerships between the two companies. (Earlier post.)



After some investigation I learned that at least 40% of the U.S. corn crop would be required to get the whole country to E10. This is clearly not acceptable and corn stover cellulose would be a better idea.


It would be easier to increase efficiency by 10% and then they could run it on E0.


What I'd love to see added to this is large scale algae production from the CO2.


"will produce 11% more ethanol from a bushel of corn and 27% more ethanol from an acre of corn "

Does that mean that the bushel of corn does not include the stover? These improvements don't sound very exiting.


"while using 83% less energy needed to operate a corn-to-ethanol plant."

They might be using the stover for heat.


Using 40% of The US corn crop in not acceptable Why? 70% of the crop is used to feed livestock not people. The ethonal procces as it now stands only uses the starch in the corn. High protein distiller grains remain after the procces and can be used for cattle or human food. The real question is the power used for this poccess. The current methods use 1btu for 1.3btu proccesed. If they can achieve the 83% recuction in energy use the would take it to a 1 to 7.5.


Most ethanol plants use CH4 (natural gas) or coal.

Celluosic vs BTL fuels.


In my opinion, it is not acceptable because gasifying corn stover and other biomass can be done. Use the corn for food and feed. I realize DDG is used for animal feed, but there are 500 million acres in production and 90 million of that is corn. We do not want more corn for fuel with an energy balance of only 1.3 when sugar cane and cellulose have a much better energy balance. We should choose the most efficient methods and not just the most expedient ones. I realize that ethanol production uses NG and coal, but there is no reason that they can not use stover for the fuel and should.



Your numbers are 4 times closer to the real picture then in your previous post, but still about two times off. Keep researching. You can stop when you reach:

140 B gallons of US gasoline consumption; 4.8 B gallons of fuel ethanol in 2006; about 20% of corn farmland used to produce such amount of ethanol.

Note, however, that:
fuel ethanol production is calculated and estimated per calendar year, and corn harvest is according to harvest seasons starting in September;
about 5% of fuel ethanol used in US in 2006 was imported from Brazil;
some amount of corn to produce ethanol in 2006 was drawn from stockpiles;
there were another sources for bioethanol production, not only corn;
some corn was exchanged with Canada.

And yes, to put fuel ethanol in comparable prospective as gasoline substitute, you have to remember that 1.5 gallon of ethanol substitute for 1 gallon of gasoline, due to lower energy density.

david silva

Is coal the most available and largest supply of fuel on earth? i do believe they have much better methods in place to pulverize,gasification,liquify the coal making the coal more efficient and cleaner. I do agree that we should invest heavily in alternative and renewable energies,wind ,solar,hydro and other alternatives biomass daul cycle gasification ,ethanol,biodeisel,ng and photovolic cells for hydrogen,least we do'nt forget that cities have city sewer systems and nanologix has pattens that will derive energy from well ,human waste. the most cost effective way to stop any one conglomerate is always to be diversified and to have ongoing compitetion .

john bibbo

dont they usecleancoal method we have large amoutallovernorthamerica


I don't know of anyone that is saying that all gasoline will be replaced by ethanol.
The article states:

"Some in the corn industry believe it will be possible to produce 16 billion gallons of ethanol by 2015 while also meeting corn grain requirements for human food and livestock feed."

That is more than 10% of the 140 billion gallons of gasoline consumed in the U.S. I am not on this web page to prove that I am right, but to get to the truth. I do not think anyone has the whole truth, just because they say they do.


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