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Fledgling cellulosic industry puts down roots, raises hopes in Corn Belt

EMMETSBURG, Iowa -- With a population of 3,900, this town in northwestern Iowa is ground zero for the nascent cellulosic biofuels industry as Poet-DSM Advanced Biofuels puts the finishing touches on a commercial-scale plant here that the company hopes can turn abundant residue from cornfields into liquid gold. Industry boosters believe cellulosic biofuels will boom, creating jobs, helping reverse the flight of youth that has hollowed out rural towns in the American heartland, and ratcheting down emissions of heat-trapping gases linked to production of corn ethanol.

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