Cellulosic ethanol made from corn fiber

An Iowa ethanol plant has produced the first gallons of “cellulosic” ethanol in the state and, perhaps, the world made from the fiber of corn kernels.  Delayne Johnson, the CEO of Quad County Corn Processors in Galva, Iowa, says the new technology is inserted halfway through the process of making ethanol.

“It’s the most simplistic way to make cellulosic ethanol out of any of them out there because the product is already here and the transportation and logistics of any cellulosic component is usually the most difficult,” Johnson says.

The first gallons of distilled cellulosic ethanol were produced on July 1st and Johnson expects the plant to make two million gallons of cellulosic ethanol a year.

“We’re hoping to license this technology to other plants be able to be more efficient at their facilities as well,” Johnson says. “If every plant that’s currently processing corn in the United States would adopt the technology, it would add one billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol to our fuel stream here in the United States without processing any more corn.”

Johnson says there’s triple the amount of corn oil from this new technology, plus the dried distillers grains contain less fiber and more protein, making it more attractive to livestock producers.  The farmer-owned plant opened 14 years ago and began producing ethanol 12 years ago.

~Radio Iowa contributed to this report~

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