Farmers get a look at 2008 cob harvesting technology

Manufacturers reveal prototype equipment for harvesting corn cobs to produce cellulosic ethanol through Project LIBERTY

Thursday, November 6, 2008

EMMETSBURG, Iowa (November 6, 2008) – Farmers who will be harvesting corn cobs for POET’s cellulosic ethanol production got a sneak peek today at prototypes of equipment they’ll soon see in the fields.

Project LIBERTY Field Day offered a venue at POET Biorefining – Emmetsburg to showcase the latest equipment for quickly and efficiently harvesting cobs. POET CEO Jeff Broin told farmers their commitment to cob harvesting will play an important role in improving the nation and world.

“We come together today to accept a remarkable opportunity that addresses three of the most pressing issues of our day – energy security, the economic crisis and global warming,” Broin said. “By collecting corn cobs we are continuing our effort to commercialize cellulosic ethanol. In doing so, we are reducing our dependence on foreign oil and increasing our nation’s ability to control its own security and economic future.”

Project LIBERTY, the transformation of a 50 million gallons per year (MGPY) grain-to-ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa into an integrated corn-to-ethanol and cellulose-to-ethanol biorefinery, is jointly funded by POET, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and the State of Iowa. Once complete, the facility will produce 125 MGPY, of which 25 million gallons will be from corn fiber and corn cobs. By adding cellulosic production to an existing grain ethanol plant, POET will be able to produce 11 percent more ethanol from a bushel of corn, 27 percent more from an acre of corn, while reducing fossil fuel consumption and water use.

In a statement Thursday, Iowa Gov. Chester Culver said the state is committed to helping achieve energy independence.

“Ethanol is one of our most promising forms of renewable energy, which will not only help our environment, but Iowans as well,” Culver said. “As we continue to strive for energy independence, we bring new industries and new jobs to Iowa, helping to bolster our own economy and bring new residents to our great state.”

Construction for Project LIBERTY is projected to begin in 2009, and production of cellulosic ethanol could come as early as 2011. POET is currently producing ethanol from corn cobs in a laboratory setting and will be producing cellulosic ethanol on a pilot scale at its Scotland, S.D. plant by the end of the year.

About POET
The largest ethanol producer in the world, according to the Renewable Fuels Association, POET is an established leader in the biorefining industry through project development, design and construction, research and development, plant management, and marketing. The 20-year old company operates 26 production facilities in the United States. The company produces and markets more than 1.5 billion gallons of ethanol annually. For more information, go to For information about Project LIBERTY, visit

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