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USDA to Fund Solid Waste to Biofuels Plant in Iowa

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has agreed to fund a solid waste to biofuels plant in Iowa.

The USDA has made a conditional commitment of a $25 million loan for Catonsville, Md.-based Fiberight LLC to build a 55,00-sq.-ft. facility in Blairstown, Iowa, the USDA said in a news release. The facility will produce cellulosic ethanol by converting municipal solid waste and other industrial pulps into advanced biofuels. It will also use conventional renewable biofuel made from seed corn waste.

Officials expect the facility to produce 3.6 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year. The process will use a cellulosic microbe to produce up to 15 percent more ethanol than traditional fermentation technology. Fiberight estimates the project will create 38 jobs and save another 16. Total cost of the project is estimated at $59.5 million.  

"This project is another step the Obama administration is taking to support production of a new generation of renewable fuels, in order to build an active biofuels and biomass production industry in every region of the country," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

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