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Iowa Gains Momentum as Major Provider of Biorenewables

DES MOINES, Iowa, June 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Iowa is rapidly becoming the development capital of the nation for the replacement of petroleum-based chemicals with bio-based chemicals. Iowa, long a leader in the biotechnology field because of its agricultural and research heritage, continues to be at the epicenter of the movement for clean energy and advanced biotechnology such as next-generation cellulosic fuels, biochemicals and bio-based polymers.

"Iowa has a long history of excellence in renewable fuels, and our state's companies and research institutions are leading the charge to develop next generation cellulosic biofuels that will drive the economy of the future and meet America's demand for clean energy," said Bret Mills, director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED). The IDED is a major sponsor and exhibitor at the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing conference in Washington, D.C. this week.

Iowa's leadership is shown through the following:

  • Iowa's biofuels industries have added $11.5 billion to Iowa's economy, generated $2.3 billion in new household income and created and supported 70,000 Iowa jobs.
  • POET recently announced it is increasing its presence in Iowa with a new, commercial-sized cellulosic ethanol facility in Emmetsburg, Iowa, scheduled to open in late 2011.
  • The Center for Bio Renewable Chemicals at Iowa State University (CBIRC) received an $18.5 million, five-year award from the National Science Foundation to transform the chemical industry using biorenewable systems and resources such as bio-based polymers.
  • Among the many biosciences companies doing business in Iowa are: ADM, Cargill, Monsanto, Genencor, REG and Syngenta. Employees at these companies are part of Iowa's fastest growing sector, manufacturing, which continues to transform the agricultural commodities that thrive in Iowa.
  • IDED offers funding and incentives to companies developing biorenewable products.

Iowa's rich heritage as an agricultural center provides a solid foundation for next-generation ethanol and biodiesel innovation. Home of the nation's largest supply of corn and soybeans, Iowa offers an abundance of raw resources to companies researching and developing renewable chemicals and fuels.  

Currently, Iowa produces 318 million gallons of biodiesel – up from 50,000 gallons in 1999 – which is more than 11 percent of the total U.S. biodiesel production.  

"Iowa has made significant strides in the last 10 years, and we believe the next decade will continue to transform Iowa into a powerhouse for bio-based chemicals, including the much-needed bio-based fuels," said Martin Mitchell from IDED.

In addition to serving as a major sponsor for BIO World Congress 2010, IDED will have representatives presenting at the conference and is leading a delegation of economic development officials from the Greater Council Bluffs Region, Ames-Des Moines Corridor, Greater Dubuque Development Corporation and Indian Hills Regional Development.

For more information, visit the State of Iowa booth #1208 at the conference or visit

SOURCE Iowa Department of Economic Development
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