As tensions in the Middle East rise, and show every likelihood of continuing for a long time, the U.S. needs to step up its efforts to achieve energy independence and take advantage of every possible source of energy.
Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded.
Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Sep 13, 2014
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It towers above the surrounding Iowa countryside like the Launch
Assembly Building lords it over Cape Canaveral — it’s the new DuPont
cellulosic ethanol project, on the outskirts of the town of Nevada.
Functional yet inspiring, imposing yet accessible — when it opens
before year end 2014 it is sure to be a monumental addition to the
cellulosic biofuels landscape.
Last week we wrote:
“There are strategic reasons to develop this new
industrial bioscience business in central Iowa — not just the
“we’d love to have you, wages are low, cost of living’s cheap, and
no unions” factors that are of genuine appeal to companies — but
pertain to Mumbai and Shenyang, too.
That’s not to say that there’s no competition for Nevada. There’s
corn stover a-plenty in the Midwest — and many towns and
industrial parks rail spurs, power, water, skilled labor and local
growers. Blair (NE), Eddyville, Fort Dodge, Clinton, Hugoton (NE),
just to name a few.
But once built, they’ll stay, so long as the economics of the
product stay sound, And the more infrastructure you build, the
more that is there for the next business to tap into. So — these
little Metropoli have every reason to hope for growth — and for
higher-skill, higher-wage positions to continue to appear, and not
The biomass intake system — still with a few construction workers in
view — that will accept the corn stover and crush it down to a
relatively fine powder — there’s some chopping involved, and some
hammering, to get the desired consistency for the enzymatic
This unit above looks like the first stage of the Saturn V rocket,
but it’s really almost a silo — holding biomass after intake. After
this unit, it will proceed left to the core hydrolysis technology
where proprietary enzymes will separate out the C5 and C6 sugars
The units above include the large hydrolysis unit to the rear, and
the fermentation units — three of them, in the front. It’s bacterial
fermentation, so that’s a change of pace from the more-traditional
Here, you see most of the same technology — and some storage, from a
different angle, but you also note there’s still a lively
construction crew on site, pushing the project towards completion.
That’s Fagen — so well known during the first-generation of ethanol
Distillation comes last, where the ethanol is separated from the
Here. you can see the official bird of cellulosic biofuels — the
crane — spotted all over Iowa and spreading into Kansas of late.
was originally published.
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