US DOE Offers Loan Guarantee for Iowa Biorefinery

The cellulosic biorefinery project in Iowa is projected to open 200 construction jobs and 40 permanent jobs.

(ADPnews North America) - Jul 11, 2011 - The US Department of Energy (DOE) last week said it had offered a conditional commitment for a USD-105-million (EUR 74m) loan guarantee for the establishment of a commercial-scale cellulosic biorefinery in Iowa.

US ethanol producer Poet LLC will develop and finance the Liberty biorefinery project, which will produce up to 25 million gallons (94.6 million litres) of ethanol a year and displace some 13.5 million gallons of gasoline, according to the DOE.

The project will use enzymatic hydrolysis technology to convert corncobs, leaves and husks provided by local farmers into ethanol. The plant will produce enough biogas to power its own operation and Poet's neighbouring grain-based ethanol plant, according to the company.

Poet expects the project to open 200 construction jobs, 40 permanent jobs and yield USD-14-million revenues to area farmers.

The company plans to deploy its technology at 27 planned corn ethanol plants with expected total annual output capacity of one billion gallons of ethanol a year.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.705)