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A New Biofuels Technology Blooms in Iowa

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Description 
Cellulosic biofuels made from agricultural waste have caught the attention of many farmers and could be the next revolution in renewable biofuels production. This video shows how an innovative technology that converts waste products from the corn harvest into renewable biofuels will help the U.S. produce billions of gallons of cellulosic biofuels over the coming decade. It will also stimulate local economies and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Text Version

Below is the text version for the A New Biofuels Technology Blooms in Iowa video.

The video opens with a shot of a tractor plowing a field. Emmetsburg, Iowa appears in the bottom left corner.

The video cuts to a screen with corn husks in the corner. Text appears, "Scientists have long sought efficient ways to create environmentally friendly fuels from agricultural waste and non-food crops."

Video footage of cars on a quiet town street appears, with text at the bottom of the screen: "Today they are closer than ever to producing affordable, cellulosic, biofuels."

Caption: Todd Mathisen, Cylinder, Iowa.

Todd Mathisen: I don't think that any of us ever really thought about taking a cob and making renewable fuel.  I don't know who it was that thought of it or who dreamt this up but he had a good idea I think.

The video shows footage of cars driving along a road with corn husks in the left corner, and then transitions to a farm road with a corn field and silo in the background. Text at the bottom of the screen reads, "Local farmer Todd Matisen no longer discards his corn cobs.

The video cuts to footage of a building with an American flag painted on the side, with text, "Todd collects and delivers his cobs to a nearby plan so they can be converted to cellulosic ethanol."

Caption: Don Bruch, Emmetsburg, Iowa.

Don Bruch: Well I just think it's a great way for us to have another chance to get something that you're just leaving in the field and it's worth something.

The video shows footage of farmers working and harvesting corn.

Todd Mathisen: Everybody's talking about it.  In every field this fall that we've harvested we've had people stop and look at the process and just kind of shake their heads because it's just something they haven't seen before.

Don Bruch: And it's a good feeling to be harvesting something that isn't good for much of anything else and be able to make fuel out of it.  That's a pretty good deal.  That's kind of a positive both ways I think.

Video cuts to a cellulosic biofuels plant with text, "within the next decade the U.S. could produce billions of gallons of cellulosic biofuels each year."

Caption: Jeff Broin, Biofuels Producer

Jeff Broin: Making cellulose ethanol is obviously a new technology.  We've worked on it in corn for many years.  The process is very different from the way that we make grain ethanol today.  We actually have to break down the cellulous to begin with.  Then we take it through a treatment process.  We then add some enzymes that break down the cellulous into sugars that can be digested by microorganisms to make ethanol.

The video cuts to footage of a biofuels plant, with workers checking pipes.

Image of a U.S. map with text appears: "The U.S. Department of Energy supports advanced biofuel projects across the country and helps these new technologies reach the market place."

Don Bruch: To think how that technology has changed from the corn pickers back when I was young up to the combines and the cob harvest and the ethanol today I think you're going to see technology change that's going to just boggle your mind.

The video pans a corn field that's recently been harvested, and then shows a tractor harvesting corn.

A screen with corn cobs and text appears: "Biofuels offer America's farmers a new revenue opportunity and help to decrease our reliance on foreign oil."

As Todd Mathisen speaks, the video shows a man speaking to a group of men in front of yellow tractors. The video then cuts to three different men talking beside green tractors, before showing a pile of corn cobs.

Todd Mathisen: I look at this as a way that it produces more income for my farm and hopefully I can bring somebody else on board. 

The video shows footage of a farm as the sun sets.

Todd Mathisen: It's nice to see some people looking to come back to the farm.

Caption: For more information visit eere.enregy.gov. U.S. Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.