The real potential for ethanol lies not in the corn fields of the Nebraska and Iowa but in cellulose. The amount of sugar that can be converted to alcohol that is locked up in cellulosic biomass far exceeds what is available from corn kernels. The problem is, well, that it's locked in there. The chemical bonds in cellulosic materials are much harder to break by normal methods than the bonds in the corn itself.
Mascoma Corp. is developing biomass-to-ethanol conversion processes and they will be teaming up with Tamarack Energy to develop production facilities beginning in New York. Eventually they will expand to other Northeastern states focusing on areas close to lumber mills and other factories that use wood in order to take advantage of the scraps as raw materials. Mascoma is a startup created earlier this year to commercialize the cellulosic ethanol conversion technologies developed by Prof. Lee Lynd at Dartmouth College.

[Source: Mascoma via GreenCarCongress]


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