The opening of one of the nation's first commercial size cellulosic ethanol plants is drawing royalty along with top federal and state officials to Emmetsburg, Iowa on Wednesday.
Project Liberty is a $250 million plant that will make 25 million gallons of ethanol a year from corn cobs, stalks, leaves and other plant residue. It is holding a grand opening to be attended by King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, and U.S. Department of Energy Undersecretary for Science and Energy Michael Knotek.
The project is a joint venture of Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based ethanol-maker POET and Royal DSM, a Netherlands biotechnology company.
The plant is among the first facilities of its size in the United States to make ethanol from plant material.
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