POET Emmetsburg cellulosic ethanol aerial photo POET
Pictured is an aerial view of POET's Emmetsburg, Iowa, cellulosic ethanol plant.

POET-DSM plans on-site enzyme manufacturing facility at Project Liberty

Cellulosic ethanol plant has achieved conversion rate of 70 gal. per ton.

POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels will build an on-site enzyme manufacturing (OSM) facility in Emmetsburg, Iowa, pending state and local approvals.

The facility will be integrated into the Project Liberty technology package, so it can be replicated in future facilities. For Project Liberty, the OSM will directly pipe enzymes into the Liberty production process without the downstream processing, stabilizers and other chemicals required for enzyme transportation.

New enzymes developed by DSM are also expected to improve the effectiveness of the enzyme mix, further reducing costs for the process. CRB has been awarded the contract for the design, engineering and construction management. Basic engineering is completed, and construction is expected to begin in late spring or early summer.

Project Liberty is a cellulosic ethanol plant that uses the cobs, leaves, husks and some stalks of corn plants to produce renewable biofuels. Over the last 18 months, significant design improvements have been made to the plant, and further investments are designed to improve yields and make the process more consistent and reliable. The facility is producing at a rate of 70 gal. per bone-dry ton of biomass -- near the target conversion rate -- and is currently in a ramp-up phase.

“Enzymes for cellulosic ethanol have been improving dramatically in recent years, and this is another leap delivered by our partner DSM in both cost and performance,” POET president and chief operating office Jeff Lautt said. “It will be a valuable addition to POET-DSM’s integrated licensing package.”

“We have reached some important production thresholds in recent months. This gives us the confidence to move to this next level of technology development,” Atul Thakrar, president DSM bio-based products and services, said. “The start-up and ramp-up of Project Liberty have provided valuable experience for developing a cost-effective process that can be replicated across the U.S. and world.”

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