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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.

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

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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