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Cellulosic Ethanol Promises $1 per Gallon Fuel From Waste
Written by Daniel   
Wednesday, 16 January 2008 11:20

 Cellulosic Ethanol Promises $1 per Gallon Fuel From Waste

Jason Mick (Blog) - January 14, 2008 11:01 AM

  GM and Coskata partner to bring transform the way ethanol is mass produced

At the General Motors section of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) at Detroit, the biggest news wasn't cars -- it was fuel. GM unveiled and detailed its efforts to take Ethanol from a impractical technology into a viable alternative energy strategy. Not too long ago it looked like the end of ethanol fuel, with advent of a hungry microbial hydrogen production research effort, which promised better efficiency than current ethanol production.

The biggest current downside of current ethanol infrastructure is simply its source; current ethanol can only be produced using the chemical breakdown of sugar-laden crops, such as corn and sugar cane. This makes ethanol more expensive and extremely agriculture dependent. Most U.S. experts agree that the amount of land needed to grow enough sugar crops to power the nation's vehicles would be prohibitive. Microbial hydrogen currently has ethanol trumped on this count, as it can use anything from crop waste to household table scraps as a source of hydrogen.

Ethanol is down, but certainly not out. An advanced new approach, dubbed "cellulosic ethanol production," developed by Coskata Inc. located in Warrenville, Illinois promises to make ethanol cheaply and efficiently from virtually anything organic-based. The long list of possible sources include used tires, crop waste, sewage, household kitchen waste, yard waste etc.

GM, inspired by Coskata's innovation, announced a major partnership with firm last night. GM reportedly looked into as many as sixteen ethanol startups offering different processes, and picked Coskata as the winner. GM invested a small amount of equity to cement the relationship, and both firms are aggressively moving ahead to bring the technology to the market.

The alternative energy auto market is not unfamiliar ground for GM. The company showcased leading designs with its Provoq fuel cell concept, its Volt electric car, and its fleet of 100 fuel cell-equipped Equinox SUVs that are currently being deployed in California and New York.... Much More      Comment in the Forums

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