Photo via Wikipedia.

Photo via Wikipedia.

DuPont Industrial Biosciences will close its Vonore, Tenn., biofuel plant by the end of 2015, reports the Knoxville News Sentinel.

The facility began as a joint project between DuPont and the University of Tennessee Research Foundation. The state legislature in 2007 had approved a $70.5 million investment that included $40.7 million for land acquisition, facilities construction, and equipment.

KnoxBlogs reports that the facility was a “demonstration-scale biorefinery” where DuPont had been researching ways to use crops such as corn cobs and switchgrass to make cellulosic ethanol.

Jan Koninckx, global business director for advanced biofuels, told The Daily Times that the company is closing the facility, “in an effort to streamline operations.”

“DuPont entered the partnership to develop the technology to scale up next-generation cellulosic ethanol technology to commercial capacity," Koninckx said. "That core mission has been fulfilled as demonstrated by DuPont’s recently opened 30-million gallon per year cellulosic ethanol facility in Nevada, Iowa."