Coskata starts flex ethanol demo plant

Coskata’s start-up of its semi-commercial flexible ethanol plant in Madison, Pennsylvania, today showcases the world’s first commercially-viable flex ethanol process, according to Coskata officials.

The facility can have as much as 400 million gallons of capacity producing ethanol from numerous non-food based feedstocks such as wood biomass, agricultural waste, sustainable energy crops and construction waste. General Motors, one of Coskata’s investors, will continuously test the ethanol produced its Milford Proving Grounds.

GM said it has already produced worldwide more than 5 million flex-fuel vehicles to date.

“In the U.S. alone, there are more than 3.5 million GM flex-fuel cars and trucks on the road. For the 2010 model year, 17 E85-capable flex-fuel vehicles from the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC brands. GM is on track to make more than half of its vehicle production flex-fuel capable by 2012,” said Bob Babik, GM Vehicle Emissions Director.

For Coskata, the next step, according to CEO Bill Roe, is to build full-scale facilities and begin licensing their technology to project developers, project financiers and strategic partners.

“The feedstock flexible nature of the Coskata approach also allows for true geographic flexibility, meaning facilities can be built anywhere a feedstock can be sourced or delivered.”

A full scale Coskata plant, he said, will have one of the lowest capital costs in the industry.

“We anticipate being very much in DOE range of 4-5 dollars of installed capacity, and believe us to be unique in this regard,” said Roe.

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