Earlier this year, headlines were made on the announcement of biotech start-up Coskata promising to revolutionize the production of ethanol with a process that could use a variety of feedstocks, ranging from wood chips and switchgrass, to old tires, and even directly from municipal waste. Most importantly, it did not rely on corn or other food stocks in order to produce fuel. At the time, Coskata was predicting an aggressive timeline, with a pilot demonstration plant to begin operation in 2009, and a first full-scale plant to be underway by 2011.
Last week Coskata announced the location for their pilot demonstration plant, a facility that will begin producing 40,000 gallons of ethanol per year, starting in 2009. While that is only a tiny drop in the proverbial bucket, it’s another step along the path to having a full-scale plant in operation and producing 50 to 100 million gallons of ethanol per year.