Nature always provides a solution to manâs power needs. All thatâs needed is a holistic approach toward digging and unearthing those answers. In a similar bid, POET has come up with a âProject Libertyâ biofuel plant, to be established in Iowa. The idea is to use non-food corn waste instead of edible corn to produce Cellulosic Ethanol. And luckily, it has been found that its financer is none other than the US government, who is all set to cash in $105 million as loan guarantee for the plantâs setup.
The main advantage of this biofuel is that it reduces greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 85 percent over reformulated gasoline and only low levels of smog are produced from the combustion. It will further help US to reduce its dependency on oil. The Department of Energy has announced recently that itâs ready to pour in the money for the plant which is expected to produce up to 25 gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year. In many cases, the government is providing loans via the Federal Financing Bank. It also promises to pay back the loans if borrowers fail to do so. This financial support by the Energy department is the first of its kind in the history of production of cellulosic ethanol.
According to US Energy Secretary, Steven Chu:
This project will help decrease our dependence on oil, create jobs, and aid our transition to clean, renewable energy that is produced here at home .
The plant that will be the first commercial-scale of its type, will give impetus to the countryâs renewed power plans. Lessening the amount of edible corn, will augment the countryâs potential to make motor biofuels, drastically. Also, most of the countryâs ethanol is made from edible corn, which has seen resistance from critics. Nevertheless, the new plant is supposed to use only the cobs, husks, and the leaves of the corn all of them being nonfood parts. POETâs earlier ventures include a pilot plant project converting one tone of biomass a day using other parts of corn. However, to scale up the production to the expected 700 million tones, itâs working on the technical aspects of the plant. Unfazed by these shortcomings, POET remains a major producer of Ethanol produced from corn kernel. The president of POET, Jeff Lautt states that POETâs ethanol made from corn kernels is $0.50 cheaper than the cost of cellulosic ethanol. âOur ultimate target is to be competitive with corn ethanol and gasoline. Coming out of the gate, no one would expect it to be of equal costâ he adds.