GM, Coskata in Ethanol Deal

January 14, 2008
General Motors has entered into a partnership with Coskata in a bid to promote a unique process for turning biomass into ethanol.
The Coskata partnership also builds on GM’s longstanding leadership in automotive fuels development and testing that included research and development of unleaded fuels in conjunction with the development of the catalytic converter, and early formulations of ethanol.
According to Beth Lowery, GM vice president, Environment, Energy and Safety Policy, “We believe ethanol used as a fuel, not just as a gasoline additive, is the best near-term alternative to the surging global demand for oil because ethanol is renewable and it significantly reduces CO2 emissions compared to gasoline.”
GM has already enabled its U.S. fleet to operate on E10, a blend of 90 percent gasoline and 10 percent ethanol.
According to General Motors, the company has about 3.5 million flex-fuel vehicles on the road in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Brazil. About 2.5 million are capable of operating on any percentage of gasoline and ethanol, up to 85 percent ethanol (E85). Another 1 million are in Brazil, where more than 90 percent of the vehicles GM sells run on 100-percent ethanol, known as E100.
Coskata is a renewable energy company promoting technology that uses proprietary microorganisms and transformative bioreactor designs, with the goal of producing ethanol for under $1 per gallon (USD) almost anywhere in the world, from a wide variety of input materials.
According to a company news release, Coskata uses patented microorganisms and transformative bioreactor designs, and a unique three-step conversion process to produce ethanol. The solution turns virtually any carbon-based feedstock, including biomass, municipal solid waste, bagasse and other agricultural waste into ethanol, making production a possibility in almost any geography.

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