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Corncobs and bioenergy crops to cellulosic ethanol

DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol (DDCE), the University of Tennessee and Genera Energy have opened a cellulosic ethanol demonstration plant in Vonore, Tennessee, USA.

The 74,000 ft2 bioenergy plant has started producing ethanol and will deliver technology for commercial production of ethanol from agricultural residue and bioenergy crops, including corncobs and switchgrass.

The bioenergy facility has an annual capacity 250,000 gallons of ethanol. Its focus is on optimising technologies for large-scale production.

It represents an investment of over US$50 million, including funding from UTBI and DDCE. The project also integrates about US$100m investment in research by DuPont and Danisco, intellectual property platforms and talent pools from both companies and DDCE’s commitment to pay operating costs not covered under UTBI.

The cellulosic ethanol industry is under Federal mandate to deliver 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel by 2022, of which 16 billion gallons must come from cellulosic sources.

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