Gov. Reynolds Directs CARES Acts Funds to Iowa Biofuel Producers and Renewable Fuel Retailers


Via Flickr

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Tuesday that $100 million of CARES Act funds will go to several agricultural sectors in Iowa.

Iowa is directing $15.5 million in grants to biofuel producers and $7 million to renewable fuel retailers. Both sectors suffered during the early stages of the pandemic when demand for gasoline dropped, and renewable fuel producers did not receive any funds directly through the CARES Act at that time, according to Iowa Public Radio.

Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, says that he is grateful for the funds since as much as half of Iowa’s ethanol production came to a halt during the worst stages of the pandemic. He hopes that the money will give producers more time to recover and help prevent plants from being permanently closed. As of this week, production has resumed to around 85 to 95 percent of capacity.

Reynolds directed the remaining funds to livestock programs, new farmers, meat processors, fruit and vegetable growers and the schools that buy their produce from local growers.

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.