DuPont announces plans to sell cellulosic ethanol plant

By Erin Voegele | November 02, 2017

DuPont Industrial Biosciences has announced plans to sell its 30 MMgy cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa. The move comes almost exactly two years after the company celebrated the grand opening of the facility in October 2015.

“As part of DowDuPont’s intent to create a leading specialty products company, we are making a shift in how we participate in the cellulosic biofuels market,” said DuPont in a statement. “While we still believe in the future of cellulosic biofuels, we have concluded it is in our long-term interest to find a strategic buyer for our technology, including the Nevada, Iowa, biorefinery. We will continue to participate in the overall biofuels market through specialty offerings, including biofuel enzymes and engineered yeast solutions that improve yield and productivity for biofuel producers. We plan to work closely with local, state and federal partners to assure a smooth transition as we pursue the sale of the business. All affected employees will receive support services during this transition.”

DuPont broke ground on the cellulosic facility in November 2012. A grand opening ceremony was held for the plant three years later, on Oct. 30, 2015. The facility is designed to convert corn stover into cellulosic ethanol.  

DuPont and The Dow Chemical Co. announced plans to merge and then spilt into three independent companies in December 2015. That merger was completed on Sept. 1, 2017. The merged company now plans to split into three separate companies, including an agriculture company, a materials science company named Dow, and a specialty products company. The sale of the Nevada cellulosic plant relates to the intended focus of the future specialty products company.