Iowa plant first to produce cellulosic ethanol using fiber from corn kernels


Nick Fetty | July 9, 2014
Quad County Corn Processor employees pose for a photo. Top left to right: Charlie Voss, Quad County Corn Processors (QCCP) Production Manager; Brad Yearous, QCCP Production Supervisor; Travis Brotherson, QCCP Plant Engineer, Research & Development, ACE Inventor; Rex Rimmer, QCCP Project Manager and Maintenance Manager; Josh Droegmiller, Systems Administration/ IT. Bottom left to right: Justin Ruble, QCCP Water Manager; Joe Williams, QCCP Lab Manager; Delayne Johnson, QCCP CEO. Photo courtesy Radio Iowa.
Quad County Corn Processor employees pose with the newly produced cellulosic ethanol.
Top left to right: Charlie Voss, Quad County Corn Processors (QCCP) Production Manager; Brad Yearous, QCCP Production Supervisor; Travis Brotherson, QCCP Plant Engineer, Research & Development, ACE Inventor; Rex Rimmer, QCCP Project Manager and Maintenance Manager; Josh Droegmiller, Systems Administration/ IT. Bottom left to right: Justin Ruble, QCCP Water Manager; Joe Williams, QCCP Lab Manager; Delayne Johnson, QCCP CEO.
Photo courtesy Renewable Fuels Association.

A northwest Iowa facility has recently produced the first gallons of “cellulosic” ethanol using fiber from corn kernels.

The Quad County Corn Processors plant in Galva has produced ethanol using starch from corn kernels for more than a decade and has recently begun utilizing the fiber from kernels of corn to make the biofuel. According to Quad County Corn Processors CEO Delayne Johnson, this method using the kernels’ fibers yields an extra 6 percent of ethanol per bushel of corn compared to not using the fiber. The project has been lauded by the national Renewable Fuels Association as well as the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

Plant Engineer Travis Brotherson came up with the idea to derive ethanol from corn kernel fiber somewhat unexpectedly in 2012.Quad County Corn Processors beat out competitors such as DuPont and Poet to be the first in the state to produce the cellulosic ethanol using corn fiber.

Quad County Corn Processors has invested more than $9 million in equipment to ferment the fiber of corn kernels and the plant is expected to produce about two million gallons of cellulsic ethanol  each year. If this technology is adopted by other plants in the United States, Johnson estimates that an additional one billion gallons of ethanol could be produced compared to using previous methods.

Iowa has 42 ethanol facilities and 12 biodiesel plants in the state.

Iowa Power Fund approves $4.1 Million investment for renewable energy


Photo by spanginator, Flickr

KCAU-TV reports that the Iowa Power Fund Board awarded $4.1 million to four renewable energy projects in Iowa. Since its inception, the Power Fund has invested over $69.4 million in energy-related projects. The newly funded projects will potentially lead to an increase in ethanol production, transform farm waste into useable energy, promote the use of solar panel technology, and determine if prairie biomass can be used for energy production.

Read a detailed description of the projects here:

  • Quad County Corn Processors received a grant of $1.45 million to construct a full-scale plant at its Galva, Iowa ethanol facility to demonstrate its patent pending cellulosic ethanol process. The process could be applied at existing corn starch ethanol plants to increase ethanol production, create a high-value protein feed product and recover more corn oil than a conventional ethanol plant. With commercial-scale demonstration, the project has the potential of replication at Iowa’s 35 dry-grind ethanol plants. Quad County Corn Processors will provide $5 million in funding for a total project cost of $6.5 million. Continue reading