DuPont Danisco, University of Tennessee Partner to jointly build cellulosic ethanol pilot facility

DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol LLC (DDCE) and the University of Tennessee (UT) Research Foundation, through its Genera Energy LLC, today announced a partnership to construct an innovative pilot-scale biorefinery and state-of-the-art research and development facility for cellulosic ethanol in Vonore, Tennessee.

The pilot-scale biorefinery will develop the commercial package for DDCE's leading cellulosic ethanol technology.

The project will utilise UT's expertise in cellulosic feedstock production and coproduct research, as well as its experience in working with Tennessee farmers to develop the first dedicated cellulosic energy crop supply chain for cellulosic biorefineries utilising switchgrass.

The facility design will incorporate the flexibility to operate on two different non-food biomass feedstocks - corn stover, cobs and fibre; and switchgrass.

''We are extremely pleased to collaborate with DDCE,'' UT President John Petersen said. ''The technical breadth and execution capabilities of DuPont Danisco, along with the backing of their parent companies, raise the national and international profile of the Tennessee Biofuels Initiative and confirm the State of Tennessee as a leader in the development of cellulosic ethanol.''

The pilot plant and process development unit (PDU) will be located at the Niles Ferry Industrial Park, to enable both experimentation at larger than laboratory scale and more rapid adjustments to process components. The plant capacity will be 250,000 gallons of cellulosic ethanol annually. Site preparations are scheduled to begin this fall, and ethanol is expected to be be available from the pilot plant by December 2009.