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First Cellulosic Ethanol Made in Iowa

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A farmer-owned ethanol plant in northwest Iowa is the first commercial facility in the state to make the fuel additive from something other than cornstarch.

Ethanol made from plant fiber is called cellulosic ethanol. It’s been in research for decades but production is expected to expand significantly this year.

Several plants are in construction capable of turning corn leaves and stalks, wood scraps and even garbage into the fuel additive.

The Quad County Corn Processors plant in Galva has made Iowa’s first commercially produced gallons of cellulosic ethanol from corn kernel fiber. The plant, which has the capacity to make 35 million gallons of ethanol the traditional way from cornstarch, has added equipment to make an additional 2 million gallons a year in cellulosic ethanol.

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