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Iowa ethanol plant breaks ground on new ethanol project

Published: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 10:52 a.m. CST

JOHNSTON – The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association attended the Quad County Corn Processors’ formal ground breaking event to celebrate the start of construction on Quad County’s Adding Cellulosic Ethanol project. The new “bolt-on” process will add the capability to convert corn kernel fiber into cellulosic ethanol at Quad County’s existing 35 million gallon per year ethanol plant in Galva, Iowa. 

“The greatest benefactors will be the Galva community, our shareholders, the ethanol industry, and the consumer,” stated Quad County General Manager Delayne Johnson. “Investing $8.5 million in our new process will add several jobs here at the plant, allow us to produce more ethanol from the same amount of corn, help us contribute to the nation’s supply of cellulosic ethanol, and will continue to lower prices at the pump for consumers.”

The add-on cellulosic ethanol technology will increase the plant’s 35 million gallon annualized capacity by about 6 percent. Johnson also noted that the new technology will improve the plant’s distillers grains co-product. “As a result of the new process, the DDGs will be much more similar to a corn gluten meal. It will increase the protein content by about 40 percent,” added Johnson. “We also expect to see a boost in corn oil extraction by about 300 percent.”

“It’s exciting to see one of the smaller ethanol plants in Iowa adding some forward-looking technology,” stated IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “This new bolt-on process will greatly improve many efficiencies at this plant, ultimately reducing the amount of energy used to produce a gallon of ethanol. With other cellulosic projects underway in the state, Iowa is poised to lead the way in advanced ethanol production.”

Construction is expected to be completed by April of 2014.

Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production.  Iowa has 41 ethanol refineries capable of producing over 3.7 billion gallons annually, with one wet mill and three cellulosic ethanol facilities currently under construction. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually.