“This is an important day for both the Broin Companies and the ethanol industry,” Broin said. “The need to commercialize cellulosic ethanol is apparent as the United States continues to move away from its dependency on oil. We have been working very hard at developing technologies and advancements the past several years to position Broin as a leader in this area and the project in Emmetsburg is a major step toward reaching that goal.”
Voyager Ethanol, shown left, will be converted from a 50 million gallon per year (MGPY) conventional corn dry mill facility into a 125 MGPY commercial scale bio-refinery designed to utilize advanced corn fractionation and lignocellulosic conversion technologies to produce ethanol from corn fiber and corn stover. Broin Companies has applied for matching grant funds through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to assist with the project.
Known as Project LIBERTY, with projected costs of just over $200 million dollars, it is slated to begin in February with a commercial production timeline set approximately 30 months later. Project LIBERTY, will create commercialization results that include 11 percent more ethanol from a bushel of corn and 27 percent more ethanol from an acre of corn while using 83 percent less energy than needed to operate a corn to ethanol plant.
In addition to producing 125 million gallons per year of ethanol after the expansion, the Voyager facility will create 100,000 tons of Dakota Gold Corn Germ Dehydrated™ and 120,000 tons of Dakota Gold HP™ produced annually as animal feed co-products.
The project, has roots in a five-year research initiative to develop and improve dry mill fractionation with the assistance of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and South Dakota State University. That project provided for the commercialization of Broin’s fractionation technology, or “BFrac™”, which together with Broin’s raw starch hydrolysis process (BPX™), creates the foundation for biorefining in the future. The results of BFrac™ include producing higher ethanol yields, but more importantly it creates additional value-added products and streams – including the intended use of fiber in the production of cellulose to ethanol.
Broin is an established leader in the biorefining industry using its integrated approach to design, technology development, production, and marketing. The 20-year old company currently manages 18 plants in the United States while marketing more than one billion gallons of ethanol annually. Broin has a reputation of fast, successful commercialization of innovative technology that includes recent patent-pending raw starch hydrolysis technology (BPX™) and grain fractionation (BFrac™). Broin’s ability to collaborate with other industry leaders to further research and development has positioned the company as a world leader in several areas, most notably the drive to commercialize cellulose to ethanol production.
Update Nov. 21, 11:02 am, from the The DesMoines Regiester.com
If the DOE doesn't approve the grant for matching grant funds from DOE, Broin said the company would continue with the project, but it will take longer and be smaller than the one announced Monday.
Broin is one of three companies competing for Energy Department grants. The others are Iogen Corp., a Canadian company that wants to build a project in Idaho, and Abengoa Bioenergy, a subsidiary of a Spanish company that is targeting Kansas for its plant.
The Broin and Abengoa proposals would add cellulosic projects to existing ethanol facilities. The Abengoa plan would use a variety of feedstocks, including waste from grain crops.
Iogen, which has a small demonstration plant in Canada, would build an entirely new facility that would use wheat straw from irrigated farms in the Northwest.
Broin would also use what is left of the corn stover, after the ethanol-making portion is removed, to fuel the Voyager Ethanol plant. Using the stover will cut energy use by 83 percent, Broin said.