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Research Reinforces Economic, Environmental Benefits of Corn Cobs as Source for Cellulosic Ethanol
Date:5/21/2009

anol, and removing them from the field will not alter soil quality," said Scott Weishaar, POET Vice President of Commercial Development. "We are committed to thoroughly evaluating our process to ensure the benefits of cellulosic ethanol are fully realized."

Previous research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that cobs contain only 2-3 percent of the measured nutrients of the above-ground corn plant. The collaboration between POET and ISU takes a closer look at data regarding soil quality and nutrient levels, the impact of cob and stover removal on future plant growth and recommended levels of fertilizer applications, if any, for cob or stover removal. In addition, POET is investigating the impact of cob piles on future plant growth on the pile site.

Additionally, the Draft Regulatory Impact Analysis released this month by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency touts the economic benefit of using corn stover, which includes corn cobs, in making cellulosic ethanol.

"… corn stover was chosen as the most economical agricultural feedstock to be used to produce ethanol in order to meet the 16 [billion gallon EISA (Energy Independence and Security Act) cellulosic biofuel requirement. We estimate that by 2022 greater than 400 million tons of corn stover could be produced. Approximately 82 million tons would be needed to produce 7.8 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuel that our modeling projects to come from corn stover by 2022." (Draft Regulatory Impact Analysis: Changes to Renewable Fuel Standard Program, page 17 http://www.epa.gov/oms/renewablefuels/420d09001.pdf)

To see a documentary about POET's pilot cellulosic ethanol plant visit www.poet.com/cellulosedocumentary.htm<
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