DuPont opens world’s largest second-generation biofuels plant in Corridor

DuPontDuPont on October 30 officially opened the world’s largest cellulosic ethanol facility in Nevada, Iowa, on the northern tier of Iowa’s Cultivation Corridor. Dozens of local, state and federal officials gathered to celebrate the ribbon-cutting for the $225 million plant, which at full capacity will produce 30 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol annually by way of next-generation biofuel production technology.

The plant, under construction for more than two years, will produce 43 gallons of ethanol for each of the projected 700,000 corn stover bales it will contract from more than 500 area farmers annually. Ethanol from the plant will be sold through several channels, including to consumer goods giant Proctor & Gamble for use in its Tide Coldwater laundry detergent product, and to the California biofuels market. California has the strictest biofuel regulations in the world; according to DuPont, cellulosic ethanol is 90% greener than gasoline.

For its part, DuPont hailed the Nevada facility as the first of its kind and looked to the establishment of a model to reproduce in other rural areas. “Our goal is to replicate this process in other rural communities in the U.S. and around the world so that societies everywhere can realize the economic, environmental and energy security benefits of advanced renewable fuel,” said William Feehery, president of DuPont Industrial Biosciences, the DuPont platform which runs the Iowa plant.

“This facility is a game-changer,” Senator Charles Grassley said. “You have achieved what Congress had hoped. We envisioned new biofuels from new technologies that were cleaner, greener and more efficient. You achieved those goals.”

Local, state and federal partners and incentives helped ensure the DuPont plant would be located in Nevada, including heavy collaboration with Iowa State University over many years. Officials at the BioCentury Research Farm and throughout the university worked with DuPont on stover bale supply chain design and execution, enzyme research and more.

WATCH: View a time-lapse video of the world’s largest cellulosic ethanol plant being constructed in Nevada, Iowa.

For more on the DuPont project grand opening, click here.

Photo courtesy of DuPoint Pioneer.