New Energy Blue, the clean-tech creator of biomass refineries, has formed a biomass aggregation company jointly owned by Iowa farmers.
The joint venture, named New Energy Farmers to be headquartered in Mason City, Iowa. New Energy Farmers will be responsible to supply clean, sustainable feedstock to the New Energy Freedom Biomass Refinery in Mason City and support the build-out of other New Energy Blue biomass refineries throughout Iowa and the American Midwest.
New Energy Farmers will provide a total of 275,000 dry tons of corn and biomass feedstock to the Freedom refinery, enough to produce a year's worth of next-generation ethanol (made from the corn plant's sugars) and clean lignin (taken from the stiff structure of the plant) from the fall harvests of 2024 and 2025.
New Energy Blue has completed the engineering of New Energy Freedom expected to be introduced in early 2024 and initiate operations in late 2025.
The New Energy Aggregation System was developed for a continuous supply of clean, dry stover in tight, compact bales. Bale weights increase to nearly 1500 pounds from about 900 pounds using the latest aggregation advances, thereby reducing transportation and storage costs.
"For our first five U.S. refineries, we expect corn stalks to be the raw material for biobased fuels and chemicals–replacing oil and gas refining in the future,” said Thomas Corle, CEO of New Energy Blue.
Members will receive a cash for every dry ton bale of corn stalks, own a stake in the business based on acreage, receive new farm equipment for harvesting and aggregation and share in the annual profits of their own company.
Lead farmers on the management board will look after procuring and collecting the stover from within a 20-30 mile radius of Mason City, managing off-site storage and delivering the bales to the refinery.
Dow and New Energy Blue have signed an agreement for cellulosic ethanol from New Energy Freedom and subsequent biomass refineries to convert into bio-ethylene at the New Energy Chemicals ethanol-to-ethylene facility planned for the U.S. Gulf Coast.
"We strongly support a bio-circular and low-carbon ecosystem for converting excess corn stover into feedstock for our bio-based plastics,” said Manav Lahoti, Global Sustainability Director at Dow. ”ISCC Plus certification enables Dow to verify the presence of renewable materials in our products to help customers meet commitments to improve sustainability in their own supply chains.”