• Feb 26th 2009 at 3:52PM
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Mascoma Corporation's first pilot plant in Rome, New York has now begun to produce cellulosic ethanol. Mascoma is one of two cellulosic ethanol companies that got equity investments from General Motors in early 2008, the other being Coskata. The Rome plant has an annual capacity of 200,000 gallons of ethanol produced from non-food biomass. Mascoma recieved grants from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York State Power Authority (NYPA) to help pay for the construction of the plant.
Mascoma is currently purchasing wood chips from a local sawmill for feed-stocks but the plant is capable of using a wide variety of materials, including corn stover, sugar cane bagasse and grasses. A commercial scale plant using Mascoma's technology is being developed in Kinross, Michigan.

[Source: Mascoma]

Mascoma Cellulosic Ethanol Plant Begins Operations in Rome, NY

Facility Generating Biomass-based Ethanol

With Assistance from New York State Agencies

Boston, MA – February 25, 2009: Mascoma Corporation, a leader in the development of low carbon cellulosic ethanol, today announced that the company's demonstration facility in Rome, New York, is now producing ethanol from non-food cellulosic biomass.

"This is an important milestone for the cellulosic ethanol industry and for Mascoma. We are grateful for the support NYSERDA and NYPA have provided for the past two years," said Bruce A. Jamerson, CEO of Mascoma Corporation. "They have been outstanding partners and we couldn't have built this plant without them."

Completed in December 2008, the Rome, NY plant is one of the largest facilities converting non-food biomass into cellulosic ethanol in the United States. The facility currently has a production capacity of up to 200,000 gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year. Construction began in early 2008.

"The early success of this project demonstrates that feedstocks for renewable fuels can be harvested right here in New York State," said Francis J. Murray, Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. "The commercialization of environmentally sustainable transportation fuels is part of Governor David Paterson's comprehensive energy policy, which will help revitalize the upstate economy and reduce our dependence on foreign oil."

The plant was funded in part by grants from the State of New York which were approved in December 2006. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York State Power Authority (NYPA) provided the funding on the State's behalf. Research partners at the facility include State University of New York – College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Cornell University and Clarkson University.

"The successful start up and operations at the Rome facility are an essential step towards our commercial goals and underscore the effectiveness of Mascoma's unique technology," said Jim Flatt, Executive Vice President of Research and Development and Operations at Mascoma. "The State of New York and our local business partners have together helped us move one step closer to our goal of producing cost competitive cellulosic ethanol at commercial scale."

The demonstration facility has the flexibility to run on numerous biomass feedstocks including wood chips, tall grasses, corn stover (residual corn stalks) and sugar cane bagasse. The company has committed to partnering with local businesses for feedstock supply and is currently purchasing wood chips from a local sawmill.

"We're pleased that Mascoma Corporation had the forethought to keep such an innovative facility here in the Rome area," said State Senator Joseph A. Griffo. "This is an industry that's at the cutting edge of helping us become more energy-efficient and I commend NYSERDA and NYPA for their partnership."

"This innovative collaboration between the private and public sectors has led to more jobs for this community, and we can look forward to more economic development opportunities that may result from their success in the global marketplace," said Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito (D/WF-Rome). "I am excited about Mascoma's progress."

About Mascoma

Mascoma Corporation is an innovative biofuels company committed to developing environmentally sustainable, low cost, low carbon biofuels from cellulosic biomass. The company's Consolidated Bioprocessing method converts non-food biomass feedstocks into cellulosic ethanol through the use of a patented process that eliminates the need for costly enzymes and additives. Mascoma is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, with research and development labs in Lebanon, New Hampshire and Woburn, Massachusetts. Mascoma is producing cellulosic ethanol on a demonstration scale at its facility in Rome, New York. Its affiliate, Frontier Renewable Resources, is developing a commercial scale production facility in Kinross, Michigan. For more information, visit www.mascoma.com.

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      • 8 Months Ago
      sorry!, forgot to include this link:


      So Mascoma uses a biological method to break down cellulose, hopefully it is cost effective. This plant should provide hard data.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Cellulosic ethanol is a nice to have, but the emphasis on it is at best misplaced and misleading.

      Much of the drive to develop it is based on mistaken fears, such as that ethanol derived from the starchy or sugary portions of various plants somehow reduces food availability or worsens hunger; quite the opposite is true. (Poor people growing ethanol cash crops can at last earn currency to feed and care for themselves and their families; corn ethanol has a byproduct used to feed meat livestock, there is vast unused farmland available, and per acre crop yields are constantly rising).

      Even worse is the idea that without cellulosic technology becoming commercially viable, that transitioning away from gasoline to alcohol fuel is a prospect for the future rather than the present day.

      In fact, we have barely begun to tap our and the world's capability to produce ethanol from current and conventional means.

      Furthermore, what is far too often overlooked is methanol with an M. Methanol can, today, with no further research necessary, be made from any biomass without exception, including switchgrass and other plant matter currently being considered for cellulosic ethanol. Ethanol offers more miles per gallon and a higher octane rating than methanol, so again it's a nice to have, but we need to AND CAN move to an alcohol economy immediately not someday later when cellulosic research is ready in the sweet by and by.

        • 8 Months Ago
        You're a criminal state traders. All you stuff are replaced by one or two minutes of petrol extraction. It's not touph to see that you hack any natural ressources. I told you before that big oil control the goverment of every country and that is why we have to fuel with toxic gasoline or starvation ethanol and that natural gas for car are prohibited by gm and green algae farming have been prohibited by usa goverment, canadian goverment, france goverment, japan goverment, great-britain goverment , congo goverment, saudi arabia goverment, south-africa goverment, chinese goverment, mexico goverment, sweden goverment, germany goverment,malaysia goverment, zimbawee goverment, russian goverment, bengladesh goverment, etc. And water powered cars have been prohibited by these same goverments because they think martians will come to punish them having helping humans.
      • 8 Months Ago
      These wood chips serve usually to build wood-shelfs or furnitures and the same corn ethanol gang is managing this trading under gm name that rejected water technology to help sell toxic petrol and help suffocate the residents of los-angeles and the rest of the world.

      When you buy a gm product, you help wall-street traders, medical experimentations in zone 51, us army missile industry, nuclear installation in iran and north corea, new tax put on workers, etc.
      • 8 Months Ago
      The demonstration facility has the flexibility to run on numerous biomass feedstocks including wood chips, tall grasses, corn stover (residual corn stalks) and sugar cane bagasse. The company has committed to partnering with local businesses for feedstock supply and is currently purchasing wood chips from a local sawmill.

      Yes the wood chips are used to make particle board, but if the plant will pay more for them then that is business. Note that it can run on other biomass stocks.
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