The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on Jan. 20 that it will partner with Fiberright to build a plant in Blairstown, Iowa that will turn waste into biofuels.
The $25 million partnership with Fiberight, a clean technology company that transfors post-recycled municipal solid wastes and other organic feedstocks into renewable biofuels with cellulosic ethanol as the core product, will become operational in 2013.
Fiberight will invest $20 million in the plant, combined with the $25 million federal investment. The plant will employ approximately 55 employees when fully-operational and generate 100 construction jobs.
Another partner is Novozymes which will supply the enzymes to turn household and office waste into advanced biofuels.
"We truly believe that 2012 is the year for take-off in this industry. Steel is going into the ground, more Americans are going to work to make biofuels and we anticipate seeing significant volumes of biofuels as a result," says Craig Stuart-Paul, CEO of Fiberight. "Our long-term and extensive involvement with Novozymes has helped us develop a commercially-pathway to advanced biofuels -- and today it's been rewarded by the U.S. government."
In addition to the commercial-scale project funded today, Fiberight will have a smaller-scale but fully integrated plant operating in Lawrenceville, Virginia in 2012.
American ethanol helped create 70,000 jobs in 2010, according to the Renewable Fuels Association.
A recent analysis by economists from the University of Wisconsin and Iowa State University found growth in ethanol production also reduced gasoline prices by an average of $0.25 per gallon, or 16%, from 2000-2010.