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Advanced Biofuels and PROJECT LIBERTY

December 22, 2014

Minnesotans have learned valuable lessons over the years with the 1st generation of biofuels (corn ethanol and bio-diesel, primarily).  Fortunately, many of these 1st-generation biofuels challenges may be addressed by advances in the production of 2nd-generation biofuels (or advanced biofuels).  Advanced biofuels are produced from non-food crops, especially from lingo-cellulosic feedstocks sourced from crop, forest or wood process residues.  Like any early product or technology, advanced biofuels have experienced logistical and supply chain challenges.  Nonetheless, projects are moving forward, and better yet, there are already commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants open for business throughout  the U.S.  Take, for example, “Project Liberty,” a joint venture of Royal DSM and POET, LLC.

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Project Liberty Plant – Biomass Magazine

Project Liberty is based in Emmetsburg, Iowa, and converts baled corn cobs, leaves, husk and stalk—from farmland up to 45 miles away—into renewable fuel.  At full capacity, it can convert 770 tons of biomass per day to produce ethanol at a rate of 20 million gallons per year. The plant employs 50 people directly and it has created another 200 indirect jobs in the community through biomass harvesting. Furthermore, Project Liberty will spend roughly $20 million dollars purchasing biomass from area farmers, providing them with additional revenue. At full capacity, it can convert 770 tons of biomass per day to produce ethanol at a rate of 20 million gallons per year. The Minnesota Project believes the plant (the first of its kind), serves as an exemplary step toward the wider adoption of advanced biofuels in America!

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