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.
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