The U.S. Department of Energy has finalized a $105 million loan guarantee for Poet’s planned cellulosic ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, IA.
Project Liberty is expected to produce up to 25 million gallons of ethanol per year from corncobs, corn leaves and corn husks. The project will fund approximately 200 construction jobs and 40 permanent jobs and generate around $14 million in new revenue for area farmers who provide the corn-crop residue, Poet estimates.
“This project represents a pioneering effort to make broad-scale deployment of cellulosic ethanol a reality,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “Producing the next generation of biofuels can not only reduce America’s oil dependency, it can also create vast new economic opportunities for rural Americans.”
In addition to ethanol, the plant will produce enough biogas to power Project Liberty and most of Poet’s adjacent grain-based ethanol plant. The company plans to integrate its process into all 27 of its grain-ethanol plants for a combined annual capacity of one billion gallons per year of cellulosic ethanol.