Syngenta launches new cellulosic ethanol technology, Cellerate, and QCCP deploys it in Iowa

September 9, 2014 |

qccp-plantIn Iowa, Syngenta announced the name for a revolutionary cellulosic ethanol process technology: Cellerate. Enhanced by Enogen corn enzyme technology, Cellerate is a collaboration between Syngenta and Cellulosic Ethanol Technologies (a subsidiary of Quad County Corn Processors).

Cellerate is designed to increase an ethanol plant’s production by allowing the corn kernel fiber to be converted into cellulosic ethanol. Ethanol plants can easily integrate Cellerate process technology into their existing production process. Cellerate, in conjunction with Enogen corn, will deliver notable benefits to ethanol plants beyond what can be achieved through either technology alone.

Meanwhile, Quad County Corn Processors hosted a grand opening where the public could tour the ethanol plant’s new “bolt-on” refinery that turns corn kernel fibers into cellulosic ethanol.

The first production was recorded in July, after the commissioning of the farmer-owned ethanol plant’s Adding Cellulosic Ethanol (ACE) project, a new “bolt-on” process that adds the capability to convert the kernel’s corn fiber into cellulosic ethanol, in addition to traditional corn starch ethanol.

QCCP produces 35 million gallons of conventional ethanol annually and the cellulosic addition will allow them to increase ethanol production by 6 percent. The new technology and production has led to additional jobs at QCCP, bringing the total number of employees from 36 to 40.

Quad County Corn Processors is a 35 million gallon per year capacity ethanol production facility in Galva, Iowa.  QCCP’s Adding Cellulosic Ethanol (ACE) process uses corn kernel fiber to produce an additional 2 million gallons per year of cellulosic ethanol. QCCP broke ground on the $8.5 million upgrade in July 2013 — the new process also boosts corn oil production by about 300%.

Reaction from stakeholders

“This is a historic day not just for the ethanol plant, but for the entire region. For the public to be able to see where we are making cellulosic ethanol on a daily basis means a lot to us,” said Delayne Johnson, CEO of Quad County Corn Processors. “This is a perfect example of cutting edge technology, right here in our backyard and we are thrilled to have our plant using this ingenuity.”

“Renewable fuels play a crucial role in spurring economic and technological advances that benefit our nation, our industry and our local communities,” said David Witherspoon, Head of Renewable Fuels for Syngenta. ““We believe Cellerate process technology will be a critical component in the development and commercialization of advanced and cellulosic ethanol and the combination of Cellerate and Enogen® corn enzyme technology could represent the next leap forward for ethanol production.”

Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the RFA, participated in the grand opening ceremony and praised QCCP, noting, “To the management, staff and investors of Quad County Corn Processors I say a hearty congratulations on your vision and your commitment to seeing it through. To EPA I say get out of Washington and see what is happening in places like Galva, Iowa.”

“The combination of Cellerate and Enogen represents the next leap forward in ethanol production,” said Jack Bernens, head of marketing and stakeholder relations for Enogen corn enzyme technology at Syngenta. “Ethanol is helping America reduce its dependence on foreign oil, lower prices at the pump, improve the environment with lower emissions, and grow the economy with jobs that can’t be outsourced. Together, these technologies will make ethanol more sustainable.”

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