Gas 2.0 Attending GM Cellulosic Ethanol Backgrounder on Feedstocks Tomorrow

  • Published on July 31st, 2008 by
 

Prairie Grass

Tomorrow, General Motors is hosting a backgrounder on cellulosic ethanol feedstocks at the Thousand Oak (CA) based laboratories of Ceres, Inc.

Coverage of non-food based ethanol tends to focus on fuel production technologies, but Ceres works one step further up the supply chain: they’re using genetic technology to engineer plants optimally suited for conversion into something you’d want to put in your gas tank.

I’ve already had the chance to speak with Richard Hamilton, President and CFO of Ceres, about the potential to produce super-strains of perennial grasses like sweet sorghum and switchgrass, and I’m looking forward to hearing more details tomorrow.





In the course of the day we’ll also be hearing from:

I covered GM’s partnership with Mascoma earlier this year, and I’ll be interested in updates on the status of their cellulosic ethanol projects. To learn more about Mascoma, see:

And here are a few more stories about GM’s other partnerships and general strategy:

Stay tuned for more coverage.

Addendum: Dedicated Energy Crops Could Replace 30% of Gasoline: Ceres, Inc. Wants to Make it Happen

Disclosure: GM is paying for my trip

Photo Credit: Unindered by talent via Flickr under Creative Commons License





About the Author

In a past life, Clayton was a professional blogger and editor of Gas 2.0, Important Media’s blog covering the future of sustainable transportation. He was also the Managing Editor for GO Media, the predecessor to Important Media.

  • SamAdams

    Clayton, interesting stuff — let us know how it goes.

    Question: Is it true that switchgrass ethanol is much more efficient than corn ethanol?

    Just curious cause I’m a big ethanol fan in general. It’s clear that we need to make it a bigger part of our national energy plan, and I’m excited that GM is recognizing that.

  • SamAdams

    Clayton, interesting stuff — let us know how it goes.

    Question: Is it true that switchgrass ethanol is much more efficient than corn ethanol?

    Just curious cause I’m a big ethanol fan in general. It’s clear that we need to make it a bigger part of our national energy plan, and I’m excited that GM is recognizing that.

  • Mike

    RE:SAMADAMS question. Ethanol is ethanol. It doesn’t matter where it comes from, it still has the same energy efficiency. However, if your question is in terms of how much energy does it take to make that ethanol, the answer is that ethanol from Switchgrass is considerably better. First, the entire plant is used, not just the starch from the seed. Second, switchgrass is a perennial, meaning that farmers do not have to spend time in the field every spring to plant it and tend it. Third, switchgrass uses considerably less fertilizer, thus saving the environment and considerable cost.

    For full disclosure, I work for a biotech company involved in producing bioenergy crops.

  • Mike

    RE:SAMADAMS question. Ethanol is ethanol. It doesn’t matter where it comes from, it still has the same energy efficiency. However, if your question is in terms of how much energy does it take to make that ethanol, the answer is that ethanol from Switchgrass is considerably better. First, the entire plant is used, not just the starch from the seed. Second, switchgrass is a perennial, meaning that farmers do not have to spend time in the field every spring to plant it and tend it. Third, switchgrass uses considerably less fertilizer, thus saving the environment and considerable cost.

    For full disclosure, I work for a biotech company involved in producing bioenergy crops.

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