Nevada, Iowa, USA.
Project Overview. The Nevada Biorefinery is the renewable natural gas (RNG) and ethanol production facility currently under construction at 59219 Lincoln Highway, Nevada, IA 50201, on the site of a former DuPont cellulosic ethanol facility. The entity is 100% owned by VERBIO North America Corporation. The location we have selected for this project will utilize DuPont’s previous investment in site infrastructure and meets our requirements for access to the natural gas transmission grid, high voltage power, major highways, feedstock sources, and water supply.
Feedstock. Our feedstock is baled crop residue procured within a 50-75 mile radius. We will utilize 90,000+ tons of corn stover per year during the first phase of operations and are interested in other types of cellulosic material including immature cover crops. Logistics consists of baling, storing and hauling: some growers will be in a position to perform all functions themselves, while others will rely on us or a third party to perform one or more functions. We are happy to work under any set of options. We will never use manure, food waste or other odorous material in our process.
Process Outputs. We produce RNG and humus. RNG will be cleaned to pipeline natural gas standards and injected into an onsite natural gas distribution pipeline for eventual use as compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquified natural gas (LNG) vehicle fuel. Humus, alternatively known as digestate, is a value-added lignin- and nutrient-rich soil amendment similar to peat moss or compost which will be principally returned to feedstock suppliers and spread on farmland to replace the agronomic value of the crop residue that was harvested. Our process does not create any wastewater and we will not pollute ground or surface waters.
Water Consumption. We will use up to 50 million gallons of water per year during Phase 1. Although we will press the humus to recycle as much process water as possible, some water remains trapped in the humus and is ultimately spread on farmland in the region. Water will be provided by the City of Nevada.
Job Creation. During Phase 1 we expect to create 40 full time direct jobs at the plant and another 100+ indirect jobs in the local supply and value chain. Job titles include plant manager, superintendent, shift supervisor, mechanic, electrician, fork lift operator, truck driver, sales representative, logistics manager, lab technician, accountant and IT support. We expect jobs to be filled at an average wage of $28+/hour and a median wage of $30+/hour, plus health and retirement benefits.
Truck Logistics. We will employ round-trip trucking (stover bales/ humus) using specialized trailers and ultimately plan to exclusively utilize clean-burning compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles.
Project Financing. VERBIO AG is providing all project financing for Phase 1 of construction. No public financing, federal grants or bank loans have been sought. We have applied for incentives offered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority and have pursued property tax abatement through the City of Nevada and Story County. Incentives are generally tied to achieving targets for jobs and wage rates.
Future Plans. As the Nevada site already has infrastructure in place to support ethanol production, we will evaluate options to produce ethanol and other value-added byproducts at this location in the future. VERBIO currently participates in these other markets in Germany. However, the initial focus for the site will be exclusively renewable natural gas production.