College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Cellulosic ethanol requires efficiently collecting corn stover bales

Corn stover experts have found ways to reduce the cost of bringing corn stover from the field to cellulosic ethanol plants.

A study conducted by DuPont Cellulosic Ethanol and Iowa State University was able to reduce the cost of moving corn stover from $91 per ton to $52 per ton – a reduction of about 43 percent.

The cost of $91 per ton represented the equivalent of over $1 per gallon of ethanol – just for the feedstock logistics cost.

“That’s before you have to pay for the plant, actually run the plant, distribute the fuel and get it ultimately to an end user,” said Matt Darr, Iowa State University associate professor in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, who has worked extensively with this project.

Darr said that strategic investments were developed and research was conducted to find ways of reducing the cost of moving corn stover.

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