Nebraska business will harvest corn stover for cellulosic ethanol

By Ken Anderson
March 3, 2009


A new Nebraska-based business is contracting with farmers for their corn stover. Plans are to use the residue as the raw product for a cellulosic ethanol plant in central Nebraska, which could begin production in 2012.

Farmer Paul Kenney of Amherst is the president of Energy Grains Biomass. He says they will need 83-thousand acres of stover for the first year of production by the proposed 20-million gallon plant.

“The really unique thing about what we’ll be doing, there will be two collection sites, probably around central Nebraska,” says Kenney, “and at these collection sites we’ll store bales, but we’ll also process bales. These bales will be processed into pellets.”

Kenney says converting the stover to pellets will make it easier to store and transport. In addition to ethanol production, he says the pellets could also be used by other plants using burners.

Kenney says farmers will be paid around 15 dollars per ton for their stover, and the company will harvest around three tons per acre.

“The University of Nebraska says that you’re putting off probably five and a half tons, but we don’t want to take it all,” Kenney explains. “We want to leave the ground cover there and just have that ground prepared that the guy can come back in and plant right into that field.”

Kenney’s company has contracted with NextStep Biofuels, the company that will construct the ethanol plant. Kenney says the two collection sites and the plant will likely be located in the Platte River valley of central Nebraska.

March 17, 2010 1:55 PM
On the road to North Platte, Shooters tonite! Happy St Pattys Day!