Posted: November 7, 2008
Very soon corn cobs will be used for much more than pipes. How about cellulosic ethanol production? That’s what POET, one of the largest producers of of ethanol, has in mind. They had me up to their Project LIBERTY field day in Emmetsburg, IA to see some prototype equipment that many of the ag OEM’s are designing to harvest and collect corn cobs. It’s estimated that harvesting the cobs could add eleven percent to the amount of ethanol an acre of corn can yield. That sure increases efficiency!
I wondered what you would have to do though to harvest, collect and deliver the cobs since you need to separate them from the corn itself. Well, apparently all you need to do is pile it up at the edge of your corn field! Then a company like POET can just come by and pick it up.
They did a lot of research on this and the cobs hold up well just piled out on the field until heading to the plant. POET says it will have their Emmetsburg plant in full corn cob cellulosic production by 2011 so this isn’t far away.
If you’d like to hear more about it then listen to my interview with Jim Sturdevant, Director of Project LIBERTY, here: