Nebraska Selected for Grant to Study Ethanol Industry
Gov. Dave Heineman said the state received a $70,000 grant from the Western Governors' Association to measure the energy components and environmental impacts of Nebraska's ethanol industry. The Governor made the announcement at a groundbreaking for the E3 Biofuels Complex near Mead in September 2006. The cattle and ethanol complex, scheduled for completion this fall, will provide much of the study's data.
"This grant will create a yardstick by which the ethanol industry can measure its progress," Gov. Heineman said. "All phases of ethanol production will be studied with the goal of making ethanol production operations more efficient and finding ways to cut costs. With this effort, Nebraska will continue its leadership in national ethanol production."
The 18-month project will develop an easy-to-use computer model to estimate energy yield, energy efficiency and environmental impacts of bio-refinery corn-to-ethanol, stover and sorghum production systems based on component technologies and environmental conditions. The resulting software will be made available to industry, government and researchers to help biomass production facilities find ways to reduce energy waste, cut costs and improve the production of alternative fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel.
The grant program was initiated by the WGA and the U.S. Department of Energy through the National Biomass State and Regional Partnership. The Nebraska project will involve the Nebraska Energy Office, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Department of Agronomy and Horticulture.