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.
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."
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.