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Back in February, Mascoma opened its first pilot plant for the production of cellulosic ethanol. According to General Motors, which invested in Mascoma and its unique method for producing the alcohol, Mascoma's consolidated bioprocessing process has proven successful in a laboratory environment.

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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

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Looking back on 2008, it seems that the biggest stories that shaped the automotive landscape had more to do with gas prices and economic conditions than the vehicles themselves. Regardless, there are quite a few new technologies that are just starting to make waves, and many of them are intended to reduce the world's use of petroleum and the resultant emissions. Proof positive can be seen in Motor Trend's list of the "Top Ten Tech Treasures" of 2008. For instance, the first two bits of technolog

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During a conference call this afternoon, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm announced that the U.S. DOE will invest $26 million dollars in the state's first cellulosic ethanol production plant, being built by Mascoma in the Upper Peninsula. Granholm, speaking with a sore voice thanks to a cold, said that this is the first time that Michigan has gotten a DOE grant in partnership with the private sector.

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Mascoma has been working for a long time to turn the cellulosic ethanol hope into reality. Not long ago (in July), they announced a cellulosic ethanol plant in Michigan. Last January, they announced funding for a cellulosic ethanol plant in New York state. Last week, it became Tennessee's turn for one of these announcements, this time the twist is that the cellulosic ethanol feedstock will be switchgrass.

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