Coskata begins work on cellulosic ethanol plant

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Thread: Coskata begins work on cellulosic ethanol plant

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    Coskata begins work on cellulosic ethanol plant

    Coskata Begins Building Demonstration Plant
    Coskata has begun producing small amounts of ethanol at a pilot plant at its offices in Warrenville, Ill., and has started building its 40,000-gallon-per-year demonstration plant, Chief Marketing Officer Wes Bolsen told Greentech Media this week.

    The Khosla Ventures-backed startup made a splash in January when it announced a partnership with General Motors and claimed it could make ethanol for less than $1 per gallon (see With GM Deal in Hand, Coskata Promises $1 Ethanol).

    GM had originally hoped the pilot plant, which is only "producing at a liters and gallons kind of scale," would be completed before the startup came out of stealth mode in January, Richard Tobey, vice president of research and development and engineering, said at the time.

    While the plant opened a few weeks late, it has been operating for a couple of months, Bolsen said. The plant has helped increase the efficiency of Coskata's technology, and its organisms can produce ethanol twice as efficiently as they could in January, he said.

    The bugs can produce 100 times as much ethanol from a dry ton of material as they could in 2006, when the team began working with them, he said, adding that the efficiency levels are six to nine months ahead of schedule.

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    Re: Coskata begins work on cellulosic ethanol plant

    Just imagine if Big Oil put some of those Billions into R&D in this area where we would be. Their refusal to embrace alternative fuels is stunning and we can only hope fatal.

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    Re: Coskata begins work on cellulosic ethanol plant

    Good, to hear soemthing like this. Especially after hearing the Big Oil guys, complain that investment in alternative energy doesn't fit their business plans and would lead to losses because of failures during research and development.

    Gee, you mean that they have a closed end business case based upon only one type of energy supply. DUH! (or could it be that they want to line their pockets at the expense of the stockholders and the Nation?)

    I for one would love to see more and more Flex Fuel vehicles available to thwart the dependence on foreign energy sources.
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    Re: Coskata begins work on cellulosic ethanol plant

    Quote Originally Posted by TAMark View Post
    Just imagine if Big Oil put some of those Billions into R&D in this area where we would be. Their refusal to embrace alternative fuels is stunning and we can only hope fatal.
    I agree, but, can you blame them? They are after all, an OIL company, that is their money maker and that is their focus. Lobbying, campaign donations and all that fun stuff helps them implement their policy up on the 'The Hill'. Is it good? No. will it change? Eventually, but lets hope it isnt fatal, because they pay a lot of taxes, drill and refine lots of oil and the biggest of course is, they employ a LOT of people.

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    Re: Coskata begins work on cellulosic ethanol plant

    Where the Big Oil companies could be putting their time and money, is into the distribution and retail infrastructure that will be required. Things they already have experience in.

    A replacement for corn based ethanol, will not be as helpful if there is still only a couple thousand pumps to dispense it.

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    Re: Coskata begins work on cellulosic ethanol plant

    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantor View Post
    I agree, but, can you blame them? They are after all, an OIL company, that is their money maker and that is their focus. Lobbying, campaign donations and all that fun stuff helps them implement their policy up on the 'The Hill'. Is it good? No. will it change? Eventually, but lets hope it isnt fatal, because they pay a lot of taxes, drill and refine lots of oil and the biggest of course is, they employ a LOT of people.
    Yes I blame them. We've known since the first barrel was extracted that crude is a finite resource. If new Biofuel companies take their place, they'll employ alot of people and pay taxes. Just read an article in Popular Science about a startup biotech called Amyris in California that is engineering e. Coli to convert sugar to hydrocarbon (gasoline and diesel, not ethanol). In my business (pharma) its common to invest 20 percent of earnings into R&D in order to keep the business alive. Big oil confessed last week before congress that they are spending very little in R&D on biofuels. Very short sighted.

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    Re: Coskata begins work on cellulosic ethanol plant

    I read that the cost of building an E-85 or E-flex engines was only about $ 150 additional cost. It was a while ago, so it could be more (or less by now). Vehicles should all be built to this spec and service stations should be required to offer products with a higher ethonal content. How hard can it be? The typical serivice station has multiple pumps and multiple fuel grades anyway. Really this can't be Rocket Science. Big Oil is probably just stonewalling it.

    On the other hand, its obvious few people care. You have an article about the life blood of the country and nobody reads it. You show next years model anything covered in camo and it'll get 3,000 hits on this site.
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    Re: Coskata begins work on cellulosic ethanol plant

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket 88 View Post
    I read that the cost of building an E-85 or E-flex engines was only about $ 150 additional cost. It was a while ago, so it could be more (or less by now). Vehicles should all be built to this spec and service stations should be required to offer products with a higher ethonal content. How hard can it be? The typical serivice station has multiple pumps and multiple fuel grades anyway. Really this can't be Rocket Science. Big Oil is probably just stonewalling it.

    On the other hand, its obvious few people care. You have an article about the life blood of the country and nobody reads it. You show next years model anything covered in camo and it'll get 3,000 hits on this site.
    That would work except for 2 problems.

    1: 90% of stations are Shell, Texaco, Mobil and the like, so those stations obviously aren't going to sell it.

    2: we already use all the ethanol we can make, so at this point, we simply can't produce enough to meet demand of a minimum ethanol content above what it already is.

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    Re: Coskata begins work on cellulosic ethanol plant

    Quote Originally Posted by logansowner View Post
    1: 90% of stations are Shell, Texaco, Mobil and the like, so those stations obviously aren't going to sell it.
    They will sell if it they can make the same profit on E85 that they make on gasoline. Coskata is promising wholesale ethanol for under a dollar a gallon.

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    Re: Coskata begins work on cellulosic ethanol plant

    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierRon View Post
    They will sell if it they can make the same profit on E85 that they make on gasoline. Coskata is promising wholesale ethanol for under a dollar a gallon.
    Great point HoosierRon, this whole thing boils down to profit. If ethanol or any other biofuel or hell, lets say alt. energy source can turn a steady profit, thats where the attention will be laid. Right now, the market is being held hostage by our Fed Govt dumping subsidies to the producers. Until Iowa stops hosting an early caucus OR these alt. methods of making ethanol become viable, it will be this way.

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    Re: Coskata begins work on cellulosic ethanol plant

    My concern with this post is that we can finally move away from corn- or food-based ethanol sources.

    All you hear on the radio is how we're burning food for fuel, when in reality, even though this has been a long time coming, we're STILL in the infancy of alternate fuels in the United States.

    The general mindset is assuming that there will never be another way to profitably produce ethanol. The naysayers focus only on the food aspect and the government subsidies, while ignoring the advances in cellulosic methods.

    The 'common knowledge' is almost as if since we discovered oil in Western Pennsylvania, we will never find another source of oil anywhere else. Since we're drilling for oil now with wooden derricks, there will never be a better way to extract it from the ground.

    Nope, there will never be another way to get what we need...

    I say: Go Coskata! Let's find another way.
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    Re: Coskata begins work on cellulosic ethanol plant

    Quote Originally Posted by geozinger View Post
    My concern with this post is that we can finally move away from corn- or food-based ethanol sources.

    All you hear on the radio is how we're burning food for fuel, when in reality, even though this has been a long time coming, we're STILL in the infancy of alternate fuels in the United States.
    Most of that is a big bunch of baloney, the use of corn for ethanol impacts the price of food grade corn VERY LITTLE! That is just an easy scape goat for the price of food corn being raised so high!

    And as for Coskata, there was a very good article in my artical Succesiful Farming mag about them and the advances in cellulosic ethanol and the advances in corn based ethanol on the cellular level, and GM's investment in them, and their ethanol from wood. And about sugur cane ethanol, what most people dont realize is that yes sugur cane does produce more ethanol per unit than corn, but for every gallon of sugar cane ethanol there is 10 gallons of waste, that countries like Brazil just dump and polute their land with whereas we cannot. But Coskata has found a way to furment and turn that ten gallons of waste into ethanol!!! There is so much going on with ethanol, most people have no idea! I was skeptical about ethanol before, but not anymore!

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    Re: Coskata begins work on cellulosic ethanol plant

    I've always maintained that we will see efficiencies steadily improve in the ethanol production field - oil will be the high cost fuel soon. But...wow...

    "its organisms can produce ethanol twice as efficiently as they could in January........."

    "The bugs can produce 100 times as much ethanol from a dry ton of material as they could in 2006.........."

    Now THAT is some fast, and big, improvement!

    With the cost issue trending so one sided towards ethanol (vs oil), the other problems (quantity, distribution, etc) should become easier to deal with.
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    Re: Coskata begins work on cellulosic ethanol plant

    Quote Originally Posted by ctaylorzl1 View Post
    Most of that is a big bunch of baloney, the use of corn for ethanol impacts the price of food grade corn VERY LITTLE! That is just an easy scape goat for the price of food corn being raised so high!

    And as for Coskata, there was a very good article in my artical Succesiful Farming mag about them and the advances in cellulosic ethanol and the advances in corn based ethanol on the cellular level, and GM's investment in them, and their ethanol from wood. And about sugur cane ethanol, what most people dont realize is that yes sugur cane does produce more ethanol per unit than corn, but for every gallon of sugar cane ethanol there is 10 gallons of waste, that countries like Brazil just dump and polute their land with whereas we cannot. But Coskata has found a way to furment and turn that ten gallons of waste into ethanol!!! There is so much going on with ethanol, most people have no idea! I was skeptical about ethanol before, but not anymore!
    I agree with you 100% that the food grade corn isn't impacted from the feed grain corn being used to make ethanol. However, this morning I was listening to the radio, and there was YET ANOTHER story about how grain being used to make ethanol were starving people in China! I didn't even know China used much ethanol, much less enough to divert (allegedly) from feeding livestock to making fuel...

    Oddly enough, there's little talk about how much regular oil prices are affecting EVERYTHING you use/buy, which naturally will drive up the prices of things you sell. It's very hard to get out of that situation once it starts.

    The reason why I'm so geeked about cellulosic ethanol because it can use just about anything that has starch. I would have to believe that we have plenty of what would normally be garbage, like leftover wood byproducts and even grass clippings that would allow us to create a fuel to power our society. If we can stabilize our energy prices, at least for the near to mid-term future, then we can have a smoother transition to whatever comes next, i.e., a fleet of Volts, for example.
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    Re: Coskata begins work on cellulosic ethanol plant

    ^^^ Yes you are very correct, almost anything materal that contains some kind of starch and fermentable can be made into ethanol. And it wasnt until just recently that the cell structure and what not was cracked, and it opened up a whole new world to ethanol production. Thats why corn in the future will be a good source for ethanol. HF cron hybrids ahev came along way in the last few years, and not recent advancements will push it even more! Everyone is rite about corn currently not being a very efficiant way to produce ethanol, but they are making strides daily to improve it on the cellular level, and even the waste from it could be made into ethanol or biodiesel! Coskata projects that within 5 years they will be able to sell ethanol for under $1 a gallon! Just think of the possibilites, we could get big V8's and cars like that back if the cost of fuel was in the 1 dollar range! (GM could make a E85 Big Block!!) I just really hope it takes off like it could, there is so much potental in ethanol. But there are lots of prople who would love to bring it to a hault! And as for the rise in cost of food corn, you can chalk that one up to high fuel prices, just like every other product currently on the market. (thanks to the people who want to bring the ethanol to a hault)

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