28 February 2007 17:53 [Source: ICIS news]
The Energy Department funding will make up about 40% of the total $1.2bn that will be invested over the next four years, the department said, with the six ethanol production firms providing the $815m balance.
Bodman said that when fully operational, the six facilities will produce more than 130m gal/year of cellulosic ethanol.
“These projects we hope will support cost-effective cellulosic ethanol in the near future,” Bodman said, adding that advances expected from the six competitive projects are part of a federal government plan “for breakthroughs in cellulosic ethanol production that can then be replicated at a commercial level”.
Bodman said he hopes the six projects will by 2012 make cellulosic ethanol cost-competitive with gasoline. He said the target is cellulosic ethanol production at a cost of about $1/gal within five years.
Estimates of current costs for cellulosic ethanol production range from $2.50 to $5 per gallon. However, one producer who was given an Energy Department funding award, California's BlueFire Ethanol of
In addition to BlueFire, the department’s funding awards included Broin Companies of
“This effort is a really big deal,” Bodman said of the funding awards. He said the funding awards could provide significant advances toward wide-scale production of cellulosic ethanol from a variety of feedstocks across the
President George Bush has set 2017 as the target date for
Cellulosic ethanol can be produced from a variety of inedible agricultural products, including corn stover, wheat chaff, switch grass and wood chips, among others.
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