DuPont plans to build one of the world's first commercial cellulosic ethanol biorefineries in Nevada, Iowa. The plant would require thousands of tons of corn stover from Iowa fields. Steve Mirshak, business director for DuPont’s cellulosic ethanol program, says – .
we're currently working with an exclusive group of growers in a pilot program to collect stover in support of the biorefinery. When completed, the plant will be fueled almost exclusively by corn
Andy Heggenstaller, Pioneer agronomy research manager from Iowa, says – as we move forward, cellulosic ethanol production may become a common form of residue management. Experts are keeping in mind long-term impacts. According to Heggenstaller, – university research suggests that at a high yield level, 200 bushels per acre or more, growers can remove 40 percent of stover without negatively impacting soil organic matter.
It is hoped the cellulosic ethanol industry will provide opportunities for growers to help manage residue and provide additional value to their croplands. DuPont businesses Pioneer Hi-Bred and DuPont Industrial Biosciences are collaborating with Iowa State University, performing studies on residue to establish best practices in harvesting, storage and transportation, as well as to assure the agronomic and environmental integrity of cornfields.