DuPont Industrial Biosciences Announces New Leader and Name for Cellulosic Ethanol Business

Former DuPont Tate and Lyle Bio Products president has been named business director of DuPont Cellulosic Ethanol.

AMES, Iowa, November 15, 2011 – DuPont Industrial Biosciences announced today management changes to its cellulosic ethanol business, formerly known as DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol (DDCE). Steven J. Mirshak has been named business director, DuPont Cellulosic Ethanol. In his new role, Mirshak will leverage his experience in commercializing biobased products to spur the development and production of cellulosic ethanol.

“DuPont is entering the next phase in making advanced biofuels a commercial reality,” said Jan Koninckx, global business director, DuPont Biofuels. “Steve is ideally suited to complete the integration of our former joint venture, DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol, and drive our cellulosic ethanol business to commercialization.”

DuPont also named Keith Gibson as the plant manager for the planned cellulosic ethanol facility in Nevada, Iowa.  Gibson joins DuPont Industrial Biosciences from Iroquois Bio-Energy Company, LLC, where he served as the general manager and president. At Iroquois, he was instrumental in the company formation, operation, financing, and marketing of ethanol.

“The cellulosic biofuel industry is at a pivotal stage in its development as a viable alternative fuel. Few companies can bring to bear the advanced technology and the operational expertise critical for success.  DuPont is such a company and I am proud to have the opportunity to be a part of this distinguished team,” said Mirshak.

To this end, DuPont, applying expertise from its Pioneer Hi-Bred seed business, is currently working with corn farmers and Iowa State University to establish best practices for securing high-quality, cost-effective corn stover for its planned biorefinery. Now in its second year, the Stover Collection Project plays a critical role in developing the techniques and relationships necessary for scaling up the biomass supply so that the cellulosic ethanol industry can meet the growing demands for renewable fuel both nationally and globally. The project also helps farmers envision how the stover collection can add to their revenue streams while ensuring the responsible management of the fields.

Simultaneously, DuPont continues to make advancements in its Vonore, Tenn., demonstration facility in preparation for scale up to commercial operations. The area is also the focus of test harvests of switchgrass by DuPont’s partner, Genera Energy LLC. Currently, the Vonore facility can produce 250,000 gallons of ethanol per year while plans for the Iowa facility are set to produce 27.5 million gallons per year.