Des Moines, Iowa — The opening of one of the nation's first commercial size cellulosic ethanol plants is drawing royalty along with top federal and state officials to Emmetsburg.
Project Liberty is a $250 million plant that will make 25 million gallons of ethanol a year from corn cobs, stalks, leaves and other plant residue. It is holding a grand opening Wednesday to be attended by King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, and U.S. Department of Energy Undersecretary for Science and Energy Michael Knotek.
The project is a joint venture of Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based ethanol-maker POET and Royal DSM, a Netherlands biotechnology company.
The plant is among the first facilities of its size in the United States to make ethanol from plant material.