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Coskata cellulosic ethanol pilot plant to be located in Madison, Pennsylvania

MADISON, Pa. – General Motors Corp.'s role in helping Coskata Inc. bring its next-generation cellulosic ethanol to market traces back a quarter of a century to technology developed for a GM iron foundry in northwest Ohio.

Coskata announced Friday that its pilot plant will be located at the Westinghouse Plasma Center in Madison, the current site of a pilot-plant gasifier.

Gasification is the first step in Coskata's process to make ethanol out of practically any renewable source. Plasma torches are used to super heat source material, such as agricultural and municipal solid waste, to 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit, which creates a synthesis gas comprised of carbon dioxide and hydrogen.

The gas is cooled to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit and then is consumed by Coskata's patented microorganisms, which excrete ethanol and some water.

In 1983, the GM Central Foundry Division collaborated with Westinghouse Electric Corp., later known as Westinghouse Plasma Corp., and others to develop a high-volume plasma torch furnace, called a plasma arc cupola, that could more flexibly produce molten iron used to make automotive engine blocks, crankshafts and brake components.

GM's first application of plasma torch technology was in 1989 at its foundry in Defiance, Ohio, where it is still used today.
 

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Great news. That is about 10 miles from where I live. They have a lot of land to work with their, so if expansion is needed, they can do so rather quickly.
 

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Correction to what is stated above: Synthesis gas consists mainly of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, not carbon dioxide.
 

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Excellent. That part of the country has remained very underepresented for E85 fuel.
 

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I hope municiple waste is the prime source for producing ethanol using this method. That way, farmers can switch back to growing wheat so prices can fall......Hopefully...
 

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Excellent. That part of the country has remained very underepresented for E85 fuel.

I was thinking about that as well! Pennsylvania is a large state and it's not one of the ethanol growing states, so it's good to see ethanol really branching out everywhere.
 

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I wonder if we are seeing a replay of the VHS vs. BETA battle but this time with the players being ethanol fermented from crops vs. cellulosic ethanol? I greatly prefer the latter due in part to the vast amount of increasingly scarce water used to grow crops. This will be interesting to look back on ten years from now.
 

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they have also been using the plasma torch technology to burn contaminate waste.
 

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I wonder if we are seeing a replay of the VHS vs. BETA battle but this time with the players being ethanol fermented from crops vs. cellulosic ethanol? I greatly prefer the latter due in part to the vast amount of increasingly scarce water used to grow crops. This will be interesting to look back on ten years from now.
This is not a VHS vs. BETA battle. Whether you make ethanol from corn or sugar or garbage or switchgrass, the end product is the same: C2H5OH.
 

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well if cellulosic ethanol is accepted national god willing add 20 cents for federal tax then 30 cent state then a 10 to 20 cent station mark up still looking below $2.00
 

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$1/gallon is the production cost right?? Any idea on what the cost at the service station will be though?
what will the govt taxes be that is the question. don't think you are going to save money if you use ethanol no matter how cheap is is to make. look to cigs for the answer. they got more people to quit smoking so they had to raise the taxes to get the govt the money it needs.
 

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what will the govt taxes be that is the question. don't think you are going to save money if you use ethanol no matter how cheap is is to make. look to cigs for the answer. they got more people to quit smoking so they had to raise the taxes to get the govt the money it needs.
Your only the second person I know to figure that one out, raise the taxes in the guise of suing the tobacco companys for reasons of your health, boy did people buy that one.
 

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I would like to see the cheap ethanol, but I fear thet day will not really come, It will allways be right behind gas in price, just a bit cheaper but not buy much. The E85 on the market now is within .40 cent of regular and yet it does not cost a penny more to produce than it did 6 months ago. but hey thats the market, I understand it, I just hope they dont shoot them selves in the foot. Dont get me wrong im still in favor of ethanol because is home grown and for me that makes it worth it.
 

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Your only the second person I know to figure that one out, raise the taxes in the guise of suing the tobacco companys for reasons of your health, boy did people buy that one.
no mater what happen it is not going to get cheaper to drive your car. we get cars that get 60 MPG the gas tax will go up so the govt. does not loose out on any taxes. the way to cut you fuel costs is to drive smart by planning your trips. when we go out to eat we now eat local rather than drive 30 miles just to get to a certain restaurant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I would like to see the cheap ethanol, but I fear thet day will not really come, It will allways be right behind gas in price, just a bit cheaper but not buy much. The E85 on the market now is within .40 cent of regular and yet it does not cost a penny more to produce than it did 6 months ago. but hey thats the market, I understand it, I just hope they dont shoot them selves in the foot. Dont get me wrong im still in favor of ethanol because is home grown and for me that makes it worth it.
Read this book.

As the author explains, the only way for Big Oil to feel price pressure from ethanol is if all cars are flex fuel. Then consumers will have a real choice at the pump.

Zubrin's plan is straightforward and practical. He argues that if Congress passed a law requiring that all new cars sold in the USA be flex-fueled — that is, able to run on any combination of gasoline or alcohol fuels — this one action would destroy the monopoly that the oil cartel has maintained on the globe's transportation fuel supply, opening it up to competition from alcohol fuels produced by farmers worldwide. According to Zubrin's estimates, within three years of enactment, such a regulation would put 50 million cars on the road in the USA capable of running on high-alcohol fuels, and at least an equal number overseas.
 
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