DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol LLC (DDCE) and the University of Tennessee Research Foundation will form a partnership to construct a pilot-scale biorefinery and R&D facility in Vonore, Tennessee. The refinery will develop the commercial package for DDCE's cellulosic ethanol technology, which utilizes non-food biomass feedstocks such as corn stover, corncobs, and switchgrass. Site preparations are scheduled to begin in the fall, with ethanol produced at the facility beginning in December 2009. The plant capacity is expected to be approximately 250,000 gallons of cellulosic ethanol annually. "Our technology is ready to pilot and we are eager to get the steel in the ground," says John Pierce, DuPont Danisco technology leader. "The joint venture is now targeting the two optimal biomass feedstocks in the United States and we are ready to take our technology to the next level of commercial viability." The state of Tennessee had previously set aside $40.7 million toward the construction of a pilot biorefinery, and will combine these funds with an investment from DDCE; the dollar amount for that investment has not been disclosed.
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