Coskata opens cellulosic ethanol plant  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

Cleantech.com has a look at cellulosic ethanol company Coskata and their "semi-commercial" demonstration plant - Deep dive in Coskata’s bacteria-based ethanol.

Coskata’s process is a cross between enzymatic hydrolysis to decompose feedstock into sugars and ferment to create alcohol, and thermochemical, in which gasification is followed by reaction with a man-made catalyst to create ethanol.

“These are all based on good science, sound science, but there’s inherent flaws with both of those and we’ve tried to take the best of both,” Roe said.

Roe said the process is net energy positive, but he declined to specify how much excess energy is produced. The process is low temperature and low pressure, which reduces operating costs, he said.

Roe said Westinghouse’s process also harnesses excess heat energy liberated during the gasification process.

Alter NRG’s Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Richard Fish said the plasma gasification technology is very efficient, retaining 80 percent of the energy in the feedstock in the process.

The 8,000-degree Fahrenheit plasma torch uses 2 percent to 5 percent of the system’s energy input.

Coskata says Argonne National Laboratory vetted its process in late 2007 and early 2008, concluding it offered a 96 percent reduction in greenhouse gases compared to traditional petroleum fuel. By comparison, sugarcane ethanol offers a 78 percent reduction, Roe said.

More at Technology Review - Commercializing Garbage to Ethanol
The plant has the capacity to produce tens of thousands of gallons of ethanol a year, which is a significantly smaller scale than the 20 million or more needed for a commercial plant, says Wesley Bolson, Coskata's chief marketing officer and vice president of government affairs. But it will use the same equipment that would be used at a commercial plant, he says. For example, it will use bioreactors--in which microorganisms produce ethanol in low concentrations--that are the same size as would be used in a commercial plant, only fewer in number. The company, which has partnered with General Motors, hopes that demonstrating its equipment will help it finance a 55-million-gallon commercial plant that has already been designed, he says.

Coskata is one of several companies developing processes to make cellulosic ethanol, which is made from wood chips and other cellulosic materials and can be produced using less fossil fuel than ethanol made from corn. The U.S. Federal Renewable Fuels Standard requires the use of cellulosic ethanol, starting with 100 million gallons next year and increasing to 16 billion gallons by 2022. But so far no commercial plants have been built, in part because financing has been hard to come by, according to the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). BIO estimates that next year about 7 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol will be produced at demonstration plants. The first commercial-scale plants, including Coskata's, are expected to open in 2012, when the fuels standard requires the production of 500 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol.

0 comments

Post a Comment

Statistics

Locations of visitors to this page

blogspot visitor
Stat Counter

Total Pageviews

Ads

Books

Followers

Blog Archive

Labels

australia (615) global warming (419) solar power (392) peak oil (351) renewable energy (292) electric vehicles (246) wind power (190) ocean energy (165) csp (158) geothermal energy (144) solar thermal power (144) smart grids (140) tidal power (137) energy storage (136) oil (136) solar pv (136) coal seam gas (131) nuclear power (127) china (117) lng (116) iraq (113) geothermal power (112) green buildings (110) natural gas (110) agriculture (91) oil price (80) biofuel (78) wave power (73) smart meters (72) uk (69) coal (68) electricity grid (67) energy efficiency (64) google (58) bicycle (51) internet (51) big brother (49) shale gas (49) surveillance (49) food prices (48) tesla (42) thin film solar (42) biomimicry (40) canada (40) scotland (38) ocean power (37) politics (37) shale oil (37) new zealand (35) air transport (34) algae (34) water (34) concentrating solar power (33) arctic ice (32) queensland (32) saudi arabia (32) california (31) credit crunch (31) bioplastic (30) offshore wind power (30) population (30) cogeneration (28) geoengineering (28) batteries (26) drought (26) resource wars (26) woodside (26) bruce sterling (25) censorship (25) cleantech (25) ctl (23) carbon tax (22) economics (22) exxon (22) limits to growth (22) buckminster fuller (21) distributed manufacturing (21) iraq oil law (21) lithium (21) coal to liquids (20) indonesia (20) origin energy (20) brightsource (19) rail transport (19) ultracapacitor (19) santos (18) ausra (17) collapse (17) electric bikes (17) michael klare (17) atlantis (16) cellulosic ethanol (16) iceland (16) mapping (16) ucg (16) bees (15) concentrating solar thermal power (15) ethanol (15) geodynamics (15) lithium ion batteries (15) psychology (15) al gore (14) brazil (14) bucky fuller (14) carbon emissions (14) fertiliser (14) ambient energy (13) biodiesel (13) cities (13) investment (13) kenya (13) matthew simmons (13) public transport (13) biochar (12) chile (12) desertec (12) internet of things (12) otec (12) texas (12) victoria (12) big oil (11) cradle to cradle (11) energy policy (11) hybrid car (11) terra preta (11) tinfoil (11) toyota (11) amory lovins (10) antarctica (10) fabber (10) gazprom (10) goldman sachs (10) gtl (10) severn estuary (10) volt (10) afghanistan (9) alaska (9) biomass (9) carbon trading (9) distributed generation (9) esolar (9) four day week (9) fuel cells (9) jeremy leggett (9) methane hydrates (9) pge (9) sweden (9) arrow energy (8) eroei (8) fish (8) floating offshore wind power (8) guerilla gardening (8) linc energy (8) methane (8) nanosolar (8) natural gas pipelines (8) pentland firth (8) relocalisation (8) saul griffith (8) stirling engine (8) us elections (8) western australia (8) airborne wind turbines (7) bloom energy (7) boeing (7) bolivia (7) chp (7) climategate (7) copenhagen (7) scenario planning (7) vinod khosla (7) apocaphilia (6) ceramic fuel cells (6) cigs (6) futurism (6) jatropha (6) local currencies (6) nigeria (6) ocean acidification (6) somalia (6) t boone pickens (6) space based solar power (5) varanus island (5) garbage (4) global energy grid (4) kevin kelly (4) low temperature geothermal power (4) oled (4) tim flannery (4) v2g (4) club of rome (3) norman borlaug (2) peak oil portfolio (1)