One of the largest Ethanol producers in the United States, Broin Companies, has announced their intention to start producing cellulosic ethanol. At a press conference with Iowa governor Tom Vilsack and governor-elect Chet Culver, CEO Jeff Broin, announced the construction of a new plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa that should be running by 2009. The construction includes conversion of an existing dry mill corn ethanol facility to produce cellulosic ethanol from corn fiber and stover to produce up to 125 million gallons annually.

Read on if you're unfamiliar with cellulosic ethanol. Cellulosic ethanol production has the potential to be much more useful than conventional production. There is vastly more cellulose biomass that can be used, without taking away from food production, and many more materials (such as grasses, and all kinds of food and agricultural waste) can be used as feed stocks. The problem is the cellulose molecules need to be broken down to individual sugar molecules which is then used to produce the ethanol and this is much more difficult than conventional production. However, in recent years a lot of progress has been made on using techniques like special enzymes to break down the cellulose.

[Source: Broin Companies]
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Mike Lockrem, Broin VP of Communications Jennifer Mullin, Press Secretary for Gov. Vilsack
Phone: (605) 965-6428 (o) or (605) 759-4802 (c) Phone: (515) 281-0161
E-mail: E-mail:
Broin Companies to Expand Voyager Ethanol in Emmetsburg, Iowa to Include Cellulose to Ethanol Commercial Production
$200 Million Expansion of Conventional Corn Dry Mill Facility will Include
Cellulose to Ethanol Commercial Production by 2009
Sioux Falls, S.D. and Des Moines, Iowa. – Broin Companies, the nation's largest dry mill ethanol producer, announced today its plans to build a cellulose-to-ethanol production facility in the state of Iowa with a completion date expected in 2009. The announcement came during a joint press conference at the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines with Jeff Broin, CEO of Broin Companies, Iowa Governor Thomas Vilsack, and Iowa Governor-Elect Chet Culver.
"This is an important day for both the Broin Companies and the ethanol industry," Broin said. "The need to commercialize cellulosic ethanol is apparent as the United States continues to move away from its dependency on oil. We have been working very hard at developing technologies and advancements the past several years to position Broin as a leader in this area and the project in Emmetsburg is a major step toward reaching that goal."
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 utilize 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 (DOE) to assist with the project.
"Today's announcement represents another significant investment in Iowa's economy," said Governor Vilsack. "Thanks to our commitment to renewable fuels, we are changing Iowa's economic landscape. This new facility in Emmetsburg is a solid investment in emerging renewable fuels technology. By finding new ways to produce ethanol, we are providing new jobs to Iowans and cementing our position as the leader in renewable energy."
"I want to congratulate the Broin Companies and the people of Emmetsburg for this exciting investment in Iowa's renewable energy future," said Governor-Elect Culver. "This plant represents exactly the kind of advancement in the alternative fuels industry that I will make the focus of our economic development efforts. This facility will mean new jobs and millions of dollars for Iowa's economy. In my administration, as the
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renewable energy economy continues to grow rapidly, we will continue the progress we have made in attracting firms like the Broin Companies to Iowa to create more opportunities."
Known as Project LIBERTY, the expansion will utilize an existing infrastructure with projected costs for the project at just over $200 million dollars. 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™", which together with Broin's raw starch hydrolysis process (BPX™), creates the foundation for biorefining in the future. The results of BFrac™ 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 Corn Germ Dehydrated™ and 120,000 tons of Dakota Gold HP™ produced annually as animal feed co-products.
About Broin Companies
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.
Broin has a reputation of fast, successful commercialization of innovative technology that includes recent patent-pending raw starch hydrolysis technology (BPX™) and grain fractionation (BFrac™). Broin's ability to collaborate with other industry leaders to further research and development has positioned the company as a world leader in several areas, most notably the drive to commercialize cellulose to ethanol production.
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BFrac™ and BPX™ are trademarks of Broin
Dakota Gold Corn Germ Dehydrated™ and Dakota Gold HP™ are trademarks of Dakota Gold Marketing

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