Cole Gustafson, NDSU's biofuels economist, says cellulosic ethanol isn't four or five years away. It's here now.
At the recent Fuel Ethanol Workshop, several companies, including Coskata, Dupont/Danisco, Logen, Lignol, Poet and PureVision, announced that they already have production from their demonstration plants or will within the year, he says.
Most are processing about 1 ton of material into ethanol daily. From that ton of biomass, they are producing between 70 and 85 gallons of biofuels. Commercial production is expected to follow in a year or two.
Coskata was the most aggressive, Gustafson says. The company claims it can process cellulosic feed stock from agricultural sources, urban land waste, forests and manufacturing wastes and be competitive with gasoline even without a federal tax credit.
The companies also say they have been able to raise venture capital, despite the recession.
Source: NDSU Extension Communications