Revived Iowa ethanol plant would make RNG to meet demand in California

A German bioenergy company is preparing to produce corn ethanol and renewable natural gas at the site of a failed cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa.

Verbio Vereinigte BioEnergie AG is building an anaerobic digester on the site that will annually convert up to 100,000 tons of corn stover — a crop leftover consisting of everything but the kernel — into a renewable fuel that can be fed into the nation’s natural gas pipeline system. Verbio hopes to begin production by fall of 2021.

The biogas, known as RNG, is more expensive to produce than conventional natural gas, but producers can turn a profit by selling credits to refineries and fuel suppliers in California, where a state low-carbon fuel standard requires annual reductions in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels.