WASHINGTON — The Renewable Fuels Association’s (RFA) Vice President of Industry Relations was on hand to congratulate Abengoa Bioenergy at the grand opening of its new cellulosic ethanol facility in Hugoton, Kansas. The facility converts agricultural residue, dedicated energy crops, and prairie grasses into cellulosic ethanol. At full operation, Abengoa Bioenergy’s facility is expected to produce 25 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol annually.
“Abengoa Bioenergy should be proud of the hard work that took place behind the scenes to make today’s grand opening a reality,” stated Robert White, VP of Industry Relations for the RFA. “The opening of this facility goes to show that cellulosic ethanol is here to stay. This year we saw the grand opening of not one, not two, but three facilities that are now producing cellulosic ethanol with more to come. It is an exciting time for the industry and the energy here at the event is contagious. From where I’m standing, the future looks bright for next-generation biofuels.”
U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz attended today’s grand opening. Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the RFA, commented, “This is indeed a great day, and it’s wonderful that Energy Secretary Moniz is on hand to congratulate Abengoa Bioenergy for seeing their cellulosic vision come to fruition. Hopefully, Secretary Moniz will return to Washington with a deeper appreciation for the importance of maintaining the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard and convince the President not to rollback our nation’s commitment to biofuels. It would be the height of hypocrisy for the Administration to sing the praises of cellulosic ethanol today, only to pull the rug out from under this nascent technology tomorrow.”
Two other cellulosic ethanol facilities began production this year. Quad County Corn Processors opened a bolt-on facility at their plant in Galva, Iowa, converting corn kernel fiber into cellulosic ethanol, while POET/DSM opened Project Liberty, a cellulosic ethanol production facility in Emmetsburg, Iowa, that utilizes corn crop residue.