ICM, Inc. is one of four companies with a small-scale biorefinery project that will share up to $114 million from the U.S. Department of Energy. USDOE Secretary Samuel Bodman made the announcement last week while delivering keynote remarks at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Biofuels Dialogue Series, "Outlook for an Emerging Global Biofuels Market."
"The next generation of renewable fuel production will involve cellulosic sources, so I applaud ICM, Inc. for positioning itself to be a leader in this arena and in the Midwest, where sources of cellulose are readily available," said Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius in a statement.
ICM's proposal is to build a plant in St. Joseph, Missouri, that will use diverse feedstocks, including agricultural residues like corn fiber, corn stover, switchgrass and sorghum, to make biofuels and other chemicals substituting for petroleum-based products.
"ICM's visionary leadership will enhance our already growing renewable fuels industry, and I am pleased that a Kansas-based company would choose this role as the nation moves toward increased renewable fuel production and use," Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Adrian Polansky said.
Secretary Bodman explained that these small-scale projects advance the long-term strategy of increasing the nation's energy, economic and national security by reducing our nation's reliance on foreign oil through increased efficiency and diversification of clean energy sources. They also further the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which requires that renewable fuels supply at least 36 billion gallons of U.S. motor fuel by 2022.
"Since its inception in 1995, it has been ICM's mission to sustain agriculture through innovation. Our key employees have been achieving that goal primarily through engineering safe, clean and efficient ethanol biorefineries for more than thirty years," said Dave Vander Griend, president and CEO of ICM, Inc. "The Department of Energy funding opportunity will help us continue to achieve unprecedented results in the advancement and improvement of the bioenergy industry through innovation, with the benefit to society reaching far beyond the agricultural sector."
Though it requires a more complex refining process, ethanol from cellulosic sources will enhance existing grain-based ethanol production. Ethanol has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 85% relative to gasoline. E-85, an ethanol-fuel blend that is 85% ethanol, is already available at 27 fueling stations across Kansas.