Verenium Corporation has been awarded a $7 million grant from the state of Florida and it will use the money to build its first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol
plant. The money comes through the state's Farm to Fuel initiative, something sure to enrage ethanol opponents. The plant, to be constructed beginning later this year in Highlands County, Florida, is expected to start generating fuel in 2011.
When fully up to speed the facility will employ 140 people and produce 36 million gallons of ethanol annually. The total cost of the refinery is expected to be $250-300 million. Verenium's enzyme-based process for breaking down cellulose into sugar for fermentation will use grasses as the main stock at the Florida facility.