Clean-tech company New Energy Blue has established a new biomass aggregation company called New Energy Farmers, headquartered in Mason City, Iowa, in partnership with local farmers.
The joint venture will provide clean and sustainable feedstock to New Energy Blue’s Freedom Biomass Refinery in Mason City, which is set to begin operation in late 2025. New Energy Farmers will be majority-owned and managed by the corn growers who have committed to supplying their excess corn stover as a feedstock to the refinery. Members will receive financial benefits, a stake in the business based on acreage, new farm equipment for harvesting and aggregation, and a share of the company’s profits.
“We’re tenaciously focused on every impact to our supply chain, from soil to product,” says Thomas Corle, CEO of New Energy Blue. “For our first five U.S. refineries, we expect corn stalks to be the raw material for biobased fuels and chemicals–replacing oil and gas refining in the future. We’re going into business with the American farmer, making a substantial investment.”
The company aims to support the build-out of other biomass refineries in Iowa and the American Midwest. New Energy Blue has developed an aggregation system over the past decade to ensure a continuous supply of clean and dry stover, critical for efficient refinery operation and the delivery of climate-healing products.
From the fall harvests of 2024 and 2025, New Energy Farmers will provide 275,000 dry tons of feedstock to the Freedom refinery, enough to produce a year’s worth of next-generation ethanol and clean lignin. The company is pursuing ISCC Plus certification for its facilities to ensure sustainable biomass sourcing and traceability for customers like Dow. Ongoing research and field testing will boost farmer yields and crop value while reducing carbon impact on the environment through carbon-retaining practices like no-till seeding and cover crop planting to prevent wind and water erosion.