SIOUX FALLS, S.D., and DES MOINES, Iowa -- Broin Companies plans to build a cellulose-to-ethanol production facility in the state of Iowa with a completion date expected in 2009.

Voyager Ethanol, located in Emmetsburg, Iowa, will be converted from a 50-million-gallon-per-year (MGPY) conventional corn dry mill facility into a 125-million-gallon-per-year commercial scale bio-refinery designed to use advanced corn fractionation and lignocellulosic conversion technologies to produce ethanol from corn fiber and corn stover.

Broin Companies has applied for matching grant funds through the U.S. Department of Energy to assist with the project.

Known as Project LIBERTY, the expansion will use an existing infrastructure with projected costs for the project at just over $200 million. Pilot research for this project has been conducted, and the expansion is slated to begin in February with a commercial production timeline set approximately 30 months later.

Project LIBERTY, which stands for "Launch of an Integrated Bio-refinery with Eco-sustainable and Renewable Technologies in Y2009," will create commercialization results that include 11 percent more ethanol from a bushel of corn and 27 percent more ethanol from an acre of corn while using 83 percent less energy needed to operate a corn-to-ethanol plant.

Technology efforts for Project LIBERTY began several years ago and escalated when Broin and the DOE jointly funded a five-year research initiative to develop and improve dry mill fractionation with the assistance of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and South Dakota State University.

The project provided for the commercialization of Broin's fractionation technology, or "BFrac(TM)", which together with Broin's raw starch hydrolysis process (BPX(TM)), creates the foundation for biorefining in the future. The results of BFrac(TM) include producing higher ethanol yields, but more importantly it creates additional value-added products and streams -- including the intended use of fiber in the production of cellulose to ethanol.

Voyager Ethanol began operations in March of 2005. In addition to producing 125 million gallons per year of ethanol after the expansion, the Voyager facility will create 100,000 tons of Dakota Gold(R) Corn Germ Dehydrated(TM) and 120,000 tons of Dakota Gold(R) HP(TM) produced annually as animal feed co-products.

Broin, the largest dry-mill ethanol producer in the United States, is an established leader in the biorefining industry through technology development, production capacity, plant management, and marketing. The 20-year-old company currently manages 18 plants in the United States while marketing more than one billion gallons of ethanol annually.

BFrac(TM) and BPX(TM) are trademarks of Broin.

Dakota Gold(R) Corn Germ Dehydrated(TM) and Dakota Gold(R) HP(TM) are trademarks of Dakota Gold(R).