Sustainable Biofuels: Saving Energy, Water, and Land for Generations to Come

From feedstock to fuel, sustainability drives DuPont’s cellulosic ethanol programs.

Meeting increased demand for renewable alternatives to petroleum-based fuels cannot come at the expense of ecological health and environmental quality. Through innovative practices and wise management of soil, water and energy, DuPont – along with our partners – will ensure these precious resources are available for generations to come.

More Than Reducing Emissions

DuPont is using biotechnology to convert renewable raw materials derived from non-food feedstocks, such as corn stalks, straw, sugarcane bagasse and switchgrass, into energy products. And from fields to fuel, we’re finding more sustainable ways to do it.

Sustainable Biofuels Feedstock Supply

Years before we broke ground on the cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa, our team was hard at work building a first-of-its-kind biomass supply chain. Making it sustainable was paramount, both to ensure the long-term success of our facility and the long-term preservation of the land.

Our contribution to the sustainability was recognized by independent industry experts when DuPont was awarded the 2012 Sustainable Biofuels Award for our corn stover harvest collection program in the category of Sustainable Feedstock Innovation.

In March 2013, DuPont began a conservation collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to safeguard natural resources on private lands used to supply biobased feedstocks for cellulosic ethanol production.

Water-Use Best Practices

The DuPont cellulosic ethanol integrated technology process is optimized to make the most efficient use of water possible. The DuPont cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa will be close to water-neutral, due to an innovative use of process water recycling in ethanol production.

Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

DuPont offers an integrated technology licensing package that can be customized to optimize energy efficiency of plant operations.

The co-products created during the biofuel production process, such as lignin and fuel syrups, can be utilized in the plant’s biomass boiler to produce steam and energy. These fuels may also be sold to coal-burning facilities to offset the use of fossil fuel.

Additional uses of fuel co-products help maximize greenhouse gas reductions in the biofuels lifecycle. Studies have shown that in certain conditions, the greenhouse gas emissions savings in the DuPont cellulosic ethanol process is actually greater than 100 percent.