Nearly two months after the announcement by General Motors of its equity investment in Mascoma, the Massachusetts company has announced the location of its first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant. Mascoma CEO Bruce Jamerson and Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm announced a plant would be built near Sault Ste. Marie in northern Michigan. Mascoma will be collaborating with Michigan State University and Michigan Technical University to further enhance its processing technology for turning biomass into liquid fuel.
MSU will offer help with the pre-treatment technology for the cellulosic biomass and identifying renewable crops for feedstocks while MTU will help with sustainable forest management practices. The Sault Ste. Marie plant will primarily use wood waste from the forestry industry in northern Michigan as a feedstock. Michigan has passed legislation creating grants for Centers of Energy Excellence. The new law will make Mascoma eligible for a grant of $15 million dollars for the new plant. The plant should be operational by 2012 producing 40 million gallons a year of cellulosic ethanol.

[Source: Mascoma]


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