Corn kernel fiber cellulosic ethanol plant addition

Quad County Corn Processors Cooperative (QCCPC) broke ground on its new cellulosic "bolt-on ethanol plant in Galva, Iowa.

Termed the Adding Cellulosic Ethanol (ACE) project will turn corn kernel fiber, a cellulosic feedstock, into high-octane, clean-burning ethanol. The new facility is expected to produce 2 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol from a feedstock already onsite.

Since 2000, Quad City has operated a 35-million gallon a year corn ethanol biorefinery with 35 full-time employees. The ACE project will create 55 to 75 construction jobs as well as five additional full-time jobs once the plant is operational.

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen, in speaking to the crowd at the groundbreaking, said, "I applaud Quad County for proving that the first and second generations of ethanol are literally ‘bolted' together. The future is now and the present is future. Cellulosic production will soon begin side-by-side with conventional ethanol. Delayne Johnson and his team are to be congratulated for their vision, determination, and innovation.

The technology behind the cellulosic ethanol project is a direct result of QCCPC receiving a $4.25 million investment from USDA and the Department of Energy as part of the Biomass Research and Development Initiative. The R&;D process spanned four years.

Delayne Johnson, Quad County's general manager, explained, "With the addition of this new cellulosic process, we will stretch the production capacity of each and every corn kernel that passes through our plant. We will increase our ethanol yields by 6 percent, increase our corn oil extraction three times over, while also creating a higher protein livestock feed. This is value-added agriculture at its best.

Dinneen continued by promoting the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), "Today is also further proof of the success of the Renewable Fuel Standard to spark innovation and investment, to stimulate job creation and economic development, and most important to produce millions of gallons of domestic renewable fuel in the name of energy independence.

There are currently over 200 ethanol plants in 29 states that have directly created more than 87,000 quality jobs and currently sustains more 380,000 total jobs across the economy, according to the RFA. The more than 13 billion gallons of U.S. ethanol produced annually has contributed to the U.S. importing only 41 percent of total oil used in 2012 the lowest since 1995.