Corn crop residue for use as a feedstock could provide corn growers a new source of income in Iowa, where POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels and DuPont Industrial Biosciences are expected to begin producing cellulosic ethanol next year. As the cellulosic ethanol industry develops and expands, more growers will be able to participate. In fact, both POET-DSM and DuPont Industrial Biosciences have announced plans to license their technologies.

Both companies have conducted multi-year harvest, storage and soil sustainability research with organizations, including Iowa State University and USDA. POET-DSM’s methods seek to maximize cob content and minimize stalk content in its feedstock.

Questions about collection and transportation and profitability for the grower remain, but the following models discussed at the Fuel Ethanol Workshop held in St. Louis, Mo., over the summer, offer a look at their approaches. We also take a look at the pros and cons of different collection systems to help growers in their decision-making process.

POET-DSM Model

  • Collect and transport the biomass for the ethanol plant yourself; or
  • Engage the services of an aggregator (such as a custom harvesting crew that might also transport your crop residue to the ethanol plant); or
  • Contract with POET-DSM to handle the entire biomass collection, staging, storage and transport process

DuPont Industrial Biosciences Model

  • Contract with a cellulosic ethanol producer to handle the entire stover collection/transport process