Photos: Coskata's cellulosic ethanol production
The announcement from General Motors at this year's Detroit auto show that it had invested in Coskata, a producer of cellulosic ethanol, created buzz across the automotive world. Coskata says its proprietary process, which relies on a combination of gasification and fermentation by microorganisms, is up to six times more efficient than the production of ethanol from corn. The process can handle everything from switchgrass to industrial waste to household garbage, produces fewer emissions and noxious byproducts than comparable systems, and will result in ethanol with a production cost of around one dollar per gallon.
Here is Coskata's business plan in a nutshell: take garbage, make gas out of it, and feed it to microbes. Then a big company pays you to teach them how to do it.
The race is on for cost-effective biofuels. Start-up Coskata signs on ethanol plant designer.
Coskata says its hybrid ethanol technology, using thermochemical and biological processes, can produce environmentally friendly ethanol cheaper than gasoline.
Coskata gets nearly $20 million as the debate over who has the best ethanol continues.
Pennsylvania lures cellulosic-ethanol maker Coskata to build a $25 million commercial demonstration plant that would make 40,000 gallons per year at $1 a gallon.
Shai Agassi's Project Better Place sees the future in electric cars; shareholder resolutions related to climate change grow; Masdar opens solar plant in Germany; Coskata goes through the ringer; John McCain casts doubt on clean tech.
Automotive News reports on the state of the biofuel industry.
Looking to prime the pumps for its FlexFuel cars, the Detroit-based automaker forms a partnership with Cambridge, Mass.-based cellulosic-ethanol specialist Mascoma.