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POET-DSM contracts with ANDRITZ for biomass pre-treatment process for cellulosic ethanol plant

POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels (earlier post) has contracted with ANDRITZ, through its US subsidiary ANDRITZ Inc., to supply a two-step biomass treatment process for the Project LIBERTY commercial-scale cellulosic bio-ethanol plant under construction in Emmetsburg, Iowa (earlier post).


The ANDRITZ technology uses a two-stage process that includes a vertical reactor, an interstage washer and then the continuous steam explosion (Advanced SteamEx process) to draw out available sugars from the cellulose material.

POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels is a 50/50 joint venture between Royal DSM and POET LLC. Project LIBERTY is expected to produce 20 million gallons per year of cellulosic bio-ethanol, growing to about 25 million gallons per year. The facility will use corn cobs, leaves, husk and some stalk to produce its renewable biofuel.

Construction is scheduled to be complete in late 2013, and this fall farmers are increasing the amount of biomass delivered to the site in an effort to fine-tune storage efforts and get farmers used to the biomass collection process.

In March, company officials, as well as Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, broke ground on Project LIBERTY, which is adjacent to POET Biorefining – Emmetsburg.


POET-DSM officials said the plant will hit its goal of collecting about 85,000 tons of corn cobs and light stover, which will prepare the plant for commercial success, while adding a new revenue stream for Emmetsburg-area farmers. The harvest target represents an increase of 24,000 tons over last year’s harvest, as POET-DSM moves toward collection of 285,000 tons of biomass per year for Project LIBERTY at full scale.

As the fall harvest continues, the plant has taken in most of the contracted 85,000 tons of biomass so far. Through a managed collection model, POET-DSM arranged for the custom harvest and transportation of biomass for area farmers.


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