May 14 2009 / by Garry Golden
Category: Energy Year: General Rating: 1
Cellulosic biofuels startup Mascoma has announced a breakthrough in a single step consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) method used in converting non-food biomass feedstocks into liqud cellulosic ethanol.
By tapping the power of genetically engineered thermophilie (bacteria that grow at high temperatures) and yeast, the company has demonstrated a way to eliminate the need for multiple step processing using more expensive enzymes and additives typically needed in breaking down biomass material.
Breakthourgh Potential in Bioenergy
“This is a true breakthrough that takes us much, much closer to billions of gallons of low cost cellulosic biofuels,” said Dr. Bruce Dale of Michigan State University’s Biomass Conversation Research Center “Many had thought that CBP was years or even decades away, but the future just arrived. Mascoma has permanently changed the biofuels landscape from here on.”
The ability to reduce the steps needed to convert carbon rich material into more hydrogen-rich fuels is key to lowering costs.
“These advances enable the reduction in operating and capital costs required for cost effective
commercial production of ethanol, bringing Mascoma substantially closer to commercialization,” said Jim Flatt, Executive Vice President of Research, Development and Operations at Mascoma. “Our results go a long way toward establishing the feasibility of the processing concept that we have built our company around - so this is a big day for us.”