Seeking to boost its activity in renewable fuels, Chrysler is partnering with biofuels and chemicals start-up ZeaChem to speed adoption of cellulosic ethanol.
Cellulosic ethanol start-up ZeaChem begins construction on a plant in Oregon that will use a microorganism found in termite stomachs to convert wood into fuel.
Start-up ZeaChem raises $34 million to build a cellulosic ethanol plant that uses the microbes in termites' guts, rather than genetically designed specialty bugs.
ZeaChem devises a process in which a microbe from termite guts converts plant matter into acetic acid. The acid is then turned into fuel.
Menlo Park, Calif.'s ZeaChem has come up with a way to turn wood chips into ethanol that will sell for around $1.50 a gallon or less when it comes out in 2010. Brewing and petrochemical technology go into the mix. News.com Editor at Large Michael Kanellos talks with founder Dan Verser and CEO James Imbler about their plans for cheap fuel.