When they’re fully commercialized, cellulosic biofuel companies will require vast quantities of bulky material to be delivered and stored at their plants to help ensure a steady year-round supply of biomass. “In some cases, companies are planning to exploit established streams of wood and municipal solid waste,” according to an article in USDA’s June publication of Amber Waves.
Other companies are working with local biomass producers to develop supplies for their pilot or demonstration plants and lay the groundwork for larger commercial operations. For example:
• Poet is working with regional corn producers to supply cobs for its commercial combined-corn-and-cellulosic facility in Emmetsburg, IA, scheduled for operation in 2011.
• The State of Tennessee is providing subsidies to more than 60 farmers to grow switchgrass to help meet feedstock demand at the DuPont Danisco pilot plant in Vonore, TN.
• The Verenium-BP joint venture signed a long-term lease for 20,000 nearby acres to grow energy cane and forage sorghum to help meet feedstock requirements at its future 36-million-gallon-per-year cellulosic ethanol plant in Highlands County, FL.