April was right: Jeff Broin's Poet Ethanol has achieved a cost breakthrough on cellulosic ethanol
POET announced today that cost reductions achieved over the past year of operating their cellulosic ethanol pilot plant have exceeded expectations in their drive to commercialize the process. Reductions in energy usage, enzyme costs, raw material requirements and capital expenses have reduced POET’s per gallon cost from $4.13 to $2.35 over the course of the past year, and the company’s goal is to be below $2 by commercial plant start-up ["On first anniversary of pilot plant start-up, POET announces cost reductions in cellulosic ethanol," press release, Poet, 2009.11.18].
Poet CEO Jeff Broin expects to get production costs down a commercially viable level below $2 a gallon by 2011, when it plans to open its 25-million-gallon/year cellulosic ethanol plant in Emmettsburg, Iowa (brought to you in part by $100 million dollars from Uncle Sam—you're welcome!).
Dr. Mark Stower, senior Poet sci-tech VP, explains it all:
Forget sending that federal money back; let's roast those corn cobs and start sending oil back to Saudi Arabia and Canada!