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Old 05-11-2009, 03:15 PM   #1
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Default Mascoma Proves Its Consolidated Bioprocessing for Ethanol Really Works

The complex process of making ethanol from cellulosic materials like wood chips and corn stalks just became a whole lot easier and less expensive.

One of our strategic cellulosic ethanol partners, Mascoma Corp., has found the holy grail of biofuels production, a process known as consolidated bioprocessing, successfully works in the laboratory. This is a big deal because it allows ethanol production from non-food based materials in a simplified “one pot” process. This has long been viewed as the ultimate low-cost solution for biochemical production of ethanol. Until now, however, this process has been more theoretical than real.

Making ethanol from cellulosic biomass traditionally requires first breaking down the cellulose and hemicellulose materials into five and six carbon sugars, a process referred to as hydrolysis. Then the sugars are fermented into ethanol. Each step occurs at different temperatures and process conditions, and requires the addition of expensive enzymes.

Mascoma has demonstrated that it is possible, using its specially developed strain of yeast, to produce the required enzymes, hydrolyze the cellulose to sugars, and to ferment both the C5 and C6 sugars to ethanol in a single step. This process significantly reduces the operating costs, improves the throughput of the process, and lowers the capital costs required to build the plant.

We thought CBP - though unproven - was a major advantage when we decided to invest in Mascoma last year and accepted its invitation to join its Scientific Advisory Board. Mascoma deserves congratulations for its revolutionary breakthrough, which brings next-generation ethanol one-step closer to commercialization and to providing a cost-effective, renewable source of ethanol for the growing number of flex-fuel vehicles - more than 3.5 million and counting - that we manufacture.

We continue to believe that biofuels, like the next-generation ethanol Mascoma is working on, are the most significant near-term solution to offset rising vehicle energy demands and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Together with the Department of Energy’s proposed investments announced this week, the next-generation of biofuels seems a lot closer to reality.
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Old 05-11-2009, 04:12 PM   #2
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Alrighty, ramp up production then! Just don't come back in 15 years with a Erin Brokovich story about how doing this rapes the world in some unknown way.
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Old 05-11-2009, 04:25 PM   #3
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One step closer to my vision of lawn clipping hooch.
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Old 05-11-2009, 04:41 PM   #4
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Woah... Holy Grail indeed.
But has this been proven outside of the lab. Or at least been tested by other independent labs? No one wants a repeat of the Cold Fusion claims from the late 80's.
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Old 05-11-2009, 04:50 PM   #5
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i'll care if they make E85 cheaper than $1/gal
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:02 PM   #6
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ethanol has to be cheap it to sell as a replacement fuel. especially for flex fuel vehicles which take a huge hit in mpg. the best use of ethanol is to cool the intake charge. hopefully all cars will come standard with it in the future. even the brainiacs at MIT have finally figured out what tuners have known for years...

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