Just days after the grand opening of POET-DSM’s cellulosic ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, another northwest Iowa-based cellulosic ethanol project is in the spotlight. Quad County Corn Processors of Galva is holding a grand opening event today for its new “bolt-on” biorefinery that is turning corn kernel fibers into cellulosic ethanol.

Delayne Johnson, CEO of the Quad County plant, says the new process stretches the production capacity of every corn kernel that passes through the plant. “We’re converting the corn kernel cellulose into cellulosic ethanol. When we do that, it also releases more of the corn oil that becomes available for separation and recovery,” Johnson says, “and by taking those two products out, the third thing it would do is increase the protein content of our DDG feed product that we’re selling into the feed marketplace.”

The process increases the ethanol output of the corn kernel by six-percent, according to Johnson. “We’re about a 35 million gallon facility, so we’re producing about two million more gallons per year with this process,” Johnson said. Quad County, which actually started producing cellulosic ethanol back in July, hopes to license the technology to other ethanol plants.

In addition to the plants in Emmetsburg and Galva, cellulosic ethanol will soon be produced in Nevada. Dupont Danisco plans to open a cellulosic ethanol plant in the central Iowa town later this year.

By Ken Anderson, Brownfield