WASHINGTON — The Renewable Fuels Association today congratulates Quad County Corn Processors on the groundbreaking of their new cellulosic “bolt-on” ethanol plant in Galva, Iowa. The Adding Cellulosic Ethanol (ACE) project will turn corn kernel fiber, a cellulosic feedstock, into high-octane, clean-burning ethanol. The new facility is expected to produce 2 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol from a feedstock already onsite. Since 2000, Quad County has operated a 35-million gallon a year corn ethanol biorefinery with 35 full-time employees. The ACE project will create 55 to 75 construction jobs as well as five additional full-time jobs which will bring Quad County’s total employment to 40 full-time employees.
RFA’s President and CEO, Bob Dinneen, in speaking to the crowd gathered, said, “I applaud Quad County for proving that the first and second generations of ethanol are literally ‘bolted’ together. The future is now and the present is future. Cellulosic production will soon begin side-by-side with conventional ethanol. Delayne Johnson and his team are to be congratulated for their vision, determination, and innovation.”
The technology behind today’s announcement is a direct result of Quad County Corn Processors Cooperative receiving a $4.25 million investment from USDA and the Department of Energy as part of the Biomass Research and Development Initiative. The R&D process spanned four years.
Delayne Johnson, Quad County’s General Manager, explained, “With the addition of this new cellulosic process, we will stretch the production capacity of each and every corn kernel that passes through our plant. We will increase our ethanol yields by 6 percent, increase our corn oil extraction three times over, while also creating a higher protein livestock feed. This is value-added agriculture at its best.”
Dinneen continued, “Milestones like the one we celebrate today demonstrate the U.S. ethanol industry’s barrier-breaking innovation and unparalleled ability to create jobs, particularly in small cities and rural communities all across the country. Today is also further proof of the success of the Renewable Fuel Standard to spark innovation and investment, to stimulate job creation and economic development, and most important to produce millions of gallons of domestic renewable fuel in the name of energy independence.”
There are currently over 200 ethanol plants in 29 states that have directly created more than 87,000 quality jobs and currently sustains over 380,000 total jobs across the economy. These are good paying jobs ranging from plant managers, production workers, scientists, engineers, accountants and general office staff. The over 13 billion gallons of U.S. ethanol produced annually have contributed to this nation’s oil import dependence dropping to 41 percent in 2012 — the lowest since 1995.