Jeff Broin is CEO of POET and his company just continues to make innovations in the ethanol production business. Lately they’ve been very focused on what they call Project LIBERTY. The goal is to make cellulosic ethanol out of corn cobs. The company held a field day to showcase some of the equipment that companies like John Deere, Case IH and others are developing to assist with the harvest and collection of this biomass that’s left over after harvesting the grain.
Forbes magazine calls Jeff, Mr. Ethanol and has a nice article on him titled “Mr. Ethanol Fights Back” in their latest edition. I spoke with him today about Project LIBERTY. He says they’re not only adding 100 million gallons of grain ethanol production to the Emmetsburg plant but an addition 25 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol production from corn cobs. They will begin construction on these additions late next year and will have the cellulosic production going by 2011.
Jeff says they’ve invested millions of dollars in the cellulosic ethanol process and have been working with ag equipment OEM’s on corn cob collection. I’ll have more interviews coming up on the various ways they’re doing that. One thing this effort to grow ethanol production from corn cobs does is show the close connection between agriculture and the renewable fuel business. Jeff says cellulosic ethanol production from corn cobs can potentially produce an additional 5 billions gallons of the fuel which would replace a significant portion of the fuel we have to import from foreign countries. He says that’s good for America and the future of our country.
You can see photos of today’s event here: Project LIBERTY Field Day Photo Album. I’ll have a lot more tomorrow. Right now I’ve got a long drive home.
You can listen to my interview with Jeff here:
You can also download the interview with this link (mp3).