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Canadian cellulosic ethanol developer Iogen Corporation and its joint venture partner Royal Dutch Shell have committed further funding to keep the venture going for two more years. Iogen Energy is currently running a demonstration plant near Ottawa that is producing ethanol from wheat straw. The demonstration plant has produced over 170,000 gallons of ethanol over the past year. This ethanol is blended with gasoline and is commercially available at Shell stations in and around Ottawa.

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Scientists in Germany have engineered the common industrial yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to ferment the sugars pentose (C5) and hexose (C6) from biomass feedstock to create ethanol and butanol. Translation: cellulosic ethanol may be one step closer to being more than the green automotive buzzword of 2008 or, worse, one of the biggest losers of 2009.

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Massachusetts-based Mascoma Corp. has added Dr. Andreas Lippert to its scientific advisory board. Mascoma, along with Coskata, is one of the two companies working on cellulosic ethanol technology that GM invested in earlier this year. Dr. Lippert is the Director of Global Energy Systems for GM and is responsible for strategic analysis and outlook on global energy developments and energy supply chains. Lippert is expected to lend his knowledge in those areas to Mascoma as they move forward with c

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