Iowa Plant Converting Corn Stover to Natural Gas

One of Iowa’s most plentiful resources is corn stover. The Iowa State Extension website says that stover is now being used to create renewable natural gas that heats Iowa homes and businesses. The Verbio North America Plant in Nevada, Iowa, has been converting chopped corn stalks into natural gas since December 7. Once converted, the natural gas enters an Alliant Energy pipeline that traverses central Iowa. Using anaerobic digestion, eight large digesters combine the corn stover with the bacteria of livestock manure, which results in the conversion of corn residue into biomethane gas that’s equivalent to the natural gas found in fossil fuels. The plant is in its early stages and plans to expand in the next several months, and the goal of the expansion is to provide enough renewable gas to heat up to 5,000 homes. Iowa produces the most corn in the United States, and the stover is what’s left behind on the ground after harvest.

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