Kansas Gets First U.S. Cellulosic Ethanol Plant
The Hugoton facility will include an 85 million-gallon-per year, corn-to-ethanol production plant and a 30 million-gallon-per year, cellulosic ethanol plant. The cellulosic ethanol plant will use 700 tons per day of corn stover, wheat straw, milo stubble, switchgrass and other feedstocks.
The facility is expected to bring more than 120 jobs to the area.
Environmentalists view cellulose as a cleaner, more efficient source of fuel than corn ethanol and one that does not remove corn from the feed and food supply chain.
Abengoa says that breakthroughs in biotechnology and manufacturing operations will enable it to produce cellulosic ethanol in most regions of the country using a variety of local biomass products.
The Hugoton project is partly underwritten by a $76 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
In February 2007, the DOE awarded up to $385 million in grants to six companies, including Abengoa, to help develop the first cellulosic ethanol plants. Other plants are planned for Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho and California.
Abengoa Bioenergy’s North American division, Abengoa Bioenergy Corp., is based in the St. Louis suburb of Chesterfield, Mo.