Project LIBERTY is a commercial-scale, cellulosic ethanol plant that is scheduled to begin operations in Iowa in early 2014. The plant is expected to produce 20 million gallons of ethanol growing to approximately 25 million gallons per year. It is the first project of the POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels Joint Venture.
Project LIBERTY will make use of corncobs, leaves, husk, and some stalk that passes through the combine during harvest. The process uses about 25% of the available material, leaving 75% on the ground for erosion control, nutrient replacement and other important farm management practices.
The plant will share infrastructure with the adjacent POET Biorefining - Emmetsburg. Roads, land and other features will be shared, and the co-product from the cellulosic ethanol process will be energy, enough to power LIBERTY and send excess to the adjacent corn grain-based plant.
An important partner in Project LIBERTY is the U.S. Department of Energy. The DOE has awarded up to $100 million in grants to support the costs of engineering and construction, as well as biomass collection and infrastructure. The State of Iowa has also taken a lead role in helping make this process a reality by contributing $20 million in financial assistance.
Looking to the future of renewable energy, it's clear that the world's most abundant organic compound, cellulose, offers the most promise. It provides the cellular structure for trees, grass and all things organic. It can also provide the energy to fuel our cars.
Cellulosic ethanol's potential is enormous. With over 1.3 billion tons of biomass available in the U.S. for ethanol production, it's possible to replace millions of gallons of gasoline. The environmental and economic benefits will be equally impressive – and Project LIBERTY is just the start.
According to the Department of Energy, 10,000-20,000 jobs are created for every one billion gallons of ethanol production capacity. Using this benchmark, we estimate our plan could create an additional 35,000-70,000 jobs.
Biomass is available in all 50 states. We believe that cellulosic ethanol has the potential to be a 50-state solution to our energy problems. Further, biomass is available around the globe. Cellulosic ethanol has enormous potential to improve the economies of agricultural areas worldwide.
As the development of our commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant enters its most exciting phase, we're introducing a quarterly publication to keep you updated on its progress.
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