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First Commercial U.S. Cellulosic Ethanol Biorefinery Announced
Corn-to-ethanol Iowa Biorefinery Chosen as Site


November 20, 2006

Washington, DC – The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) today congratulates the Broin Companies on their announcement they intend to build the first cellulosic ethanol biorefinery in the United States at Voyager Ethanol in Emmetsburg, Iowa. 

“To develop a U.S. ethanol industry the size and scope needed to help America gain greater independence over its energy future, feedstocks in addition to grains must be utilized to produce ethanol,” said RFA President Bob Dinneen.  “The realization of commercial cellulosic ethanol production will not only deliver greater energy independence, but allow more regions of this country to see the economic and environmental benefits from the production of this renewable fuel.  Our industry is committed to developing this technology on a widespread scale and I congratulate the Broin Companies on taking this important first step.”

According to a release from Broin, Voyager Ethanol will be converted from a 50 million gallon per year conventional corn dry mill facility into a 125-million gallon per year commercial scale ethanol biorefinery designed to utilize advanced corn fractionation and lignocellulosic conversion technologies to produce ethanol from corn fiber and corn stover.

“This is an important day for both Broin and the ethanol industry,” Jeff Broin, CEO of Broin Companies said. “The need to commercialize cellulosic ethanol is apparent as the United States continues to move away from its dependency on oil. We have been working very hard at developing technologies and advancements the past several years to position Broin as a leader in this area and the project in Emmetsburg is a major step toward reaching that goal.”

Cellulosic ethanol production refers to using plant material and agricultural wastes, such as corn stalks, switchgrass and wood chips to produce ethanol.  More information on the cellulosic ethanol process can be found at