20,000 Gallon Per Year Cellulosic Ethanol Pilot Project Opens in South Dakota

cellulosic ethanol plant photo

POET’s cellulosic research center. Photo: POET

Yeah, it’s true. A combination of factors related to the current global recession are taking their toll on the US ethanol industry. Some major players have declared bankruptcy and predictions about the imminent demise of others have circulated. That said, the new US top ethanol producer, Sioux Falls, S. Dakota-based POET seems to be weathering things a bit better than others at the moment, announcing on Monday the opening of a pilot plant to produce cellulosic ethanol from corn cobs. Here are the details:$8 Million Precursor to Commercial Facility
Located in Scotland, S.D. on the grounds of an existing ethanol production facility, the pilot plant will produce ethanol from cellulosic sources at the rate of 20,000 gallons per year. Cost for the new facility is $8 million.

The project is the forerunner to POET’s planned commercial scale cellulosic ethanol plant dubbed Project Liberty (eyes rolling back in head...how evocative of energy independence and the liberty this could bring...my hyperbole meter is pinned at maximum), which the company hopes to open in 2011.

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