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Old 01-13-2008, 06:31 PM   #1
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GM teams up with Coskata to produce bio-fuel

Reading between the lines it looks like someone has found a way to produce cellulosic ethanol for mass production. Interesting.

Quote:
GM announces partnership with Coskata to produce ethanol fuel



General Motors announced today at the Detroit Auto Show that it will be teaming with Coskata, Inc. — a biology-based renewable energy company based in Indiana — to produce ethanol using a new, environmentally friendly method.

The new system allows for the production of ethanol from sources other than corn. The new technology would make it possible to make bio-fuel from renewable resources — such as livestock waste, municipal waste or even old tires — eliminating the pitfalls of producing ethanol from corn.

The new process is also much more efficient than the one currently used to turn corn into fuel. Whereas the current process requires about 3-4 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of fuel, Coskata's process uses less than 1. In addition, Coskata's process yields 7.7 units of energy for every unit put into production — well above the ratio of corn-based ethanol production.

Coskata's bio-fuel also burns cleaner, reducing green house gas emissions by 84%.

But the new partnership promises to be just as good for consumers as it is for the environment. GM and Coskata both claim that the new fuel will cost about $1 gallon, well below the $3 per gallon consumers are used to seeing.

While it will be a few years before the new fuel comes online — Coskata plans to open its first production plant later this year — Coskata predicts that its will produce between 50 and 100 million gallons of the clean bio-fuel by 2011.

The announcement followed on the heels of the official introduction of the Hummer HX concept and Saab 9-4X BioPower — both vehicles that use GM's FlexFuel technology. GM also announced that every Hummer vehicle will be available with a FlexFuel engine option by 2011, indicating the automaker's commitment to the technology.
http://www.leftlanenews.com/gm-annou...anol-fuel.html
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Old 01-13-2008, 07:04 PM   #2
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This is good. But they'd better push real hard, because 100 million gallons aint gonna cut it. We're talking billions...

But one step at a time, and I'm glad GM put their foot in this one.
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Old 01-13-2008, 09:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoneye View Post
This is good. But they'd better push real hard, because 100 million gallons aint gonna cut it. We're talking billions...

But one step at a time, and I'm glad GM put their foot in this one.
But, 100 million gallons, sold at $4/gal (probably low for 2011) gives what I estimate to be about 100 million dollars profit after production, transportation, and taxes. That will be enough to recoup the investment within a year or two. Then if it can scale up nicely, its an extra few billion in the pockets of GM every year. Not a bad deal economically for them. And oh by the way, its good for the environment. Sounds like everyone wins
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Old 01-14-2008, 01:13 AM   #4
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A buck a gallon??? I'd buy a car that ran off of that and save big money....not to mention the environment. This is going to do great for our economy, etc.
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Old 01-14-2008, 01:34 AM   #5
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A buck a gallon??? I'd buy a car that ran off of that and save big money....not to mention the environment. This is going to do great for our economy, etc.
By the same logic, gasoline costs around $2.00 per gallon right now. This is still far cheaper, but not by as much as it seems.
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Old 01-14-2008, 02:11 AM   #6
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Your gas costs $2 a gallon? I'm paying $3.19 for super in SA. This new fuel is less than a third of the cost of what I'm paying! So, when I fill my tank, I spend about $42.00 each time. With this biofuel, I'd be spending, what...$14.00? That's a big difference when I fill up...a savings of approximately $70 per month.
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Old 01-14-2008, 02:29 AM   #7
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Seems almost too good to be true. If it works out, call me first in line for a compatible vehicle.
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Old 01-14-2008, 02:41 AM   #8
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This is awesome news... Definitely makes more sense to me than corn based bio-fuel...
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAG UR IT View Post
Your gas costs $2 a gallon? I'm paying $3.19 for super in SA. This new fuel is less than a third of the cost of what I'm paying! So, when I fill my tank, I spend about $42.00 each time. With this biofuel, I'd be spending, what...$14.00? That's a big difference when I fill up...a savings of approximately $70 per month.
Perhaps I should clarify, gasoline in north america costs roughly $2/gallon (~$0.50/L), the consumer generally pays between someplace $3.00 and $4.00 per gallon. The extra costs come in for taxes, profit for the seller, and transportation. These costs shouldn't change for this new biofuel and so the cheapest you should expect to buy it for is $2/gal. Likely the producers will be gouging and an extra $1 will be added for pure profit, perhaps more because of supply and demand so that the 'cheaper' biofuel will cost you more at the pump than buying gasoline
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:40 AM   #10
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Very cool.

Can someone quickly, don't want to hijack, explain the basic difference between mehanol and ethanol. I know the Top Fuel guys run Methanol. Is Methanol only oil based?
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:56 AM   #11
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methanol is CH3-OH
ethanol is C2H5-OH
propanol (rubbing alcohol) is C3H7-OH

it makes no differenance as to what the source is, just so long as it matches that chemical formula
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Old 01-14-2008, 11:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGthe3 View Post
methanol is CH3-OH
ethanol is C2H5-OH
propanol (rubbing alcohol) is C3H7-OH

it makes no differenance as to what the source is, just so long as it matches that chemical formula
Got it.

So, Methanol isn't seen a a viable alternate BIO fuel due to it's limited sources?

Last question on this. Promise.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:00 PM   #13
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This is bigger than it seems, I think.
Over on GM's FYI blog, check it out:

Quote:
The Next Generation of Ethanol
Press release: GM partners with Coskata to commercialize cellulosic ethanol
By Mary Beth Stanek
Director, Environment and Energy Policy and Commercialization
Ever since we started talking with Coskata Inc. seven months ago about partnering to help get their ethanol-making technology commercialized, I’ve been eager to hear what people would say when they heard some of the numbers around what Coskata says it can do:
  • Produce a gallon of ethanol for less than a dollar, half the production cost of making gasoline
  • Use less than a third of the water it takes to make ethanol today – and 79 times less than it takes to prepare a single chicken
  • Reduce by as much as 84 percent the CO2 emissions compared with gasoline
  • Create nearly eight times as much energy created as used
And make ethanol from renewable sources like agricultural waste and anything that has carbon in it. Yes, that includes garbage that goes to landfills today.

The statistics and claims are amazing – and they are backed up by several well-respected analyses. They also knock down nearly every criticism of today’s ethanol. We acknowledge that some of those criticisms have merit, but some have been wildly exaggerated.
This is an exciting time for ethanol. The Coskata technology is ready today – no invention time needed – and their first commercial plant is expected to be up and producing 50 million to 100 million gallons of ethanol a year by the end of 2010 or early 2011.
Let us know what you think.
So not only do we have a new Renewable Fuels Standard that calls for 36 billion gallons of biofuels a year by 2022, we have in our partnership with Coskata a company that thinks it can account for a significant amount of that production through its partnership business model.
GM is not in the fuel business, and we’re not likely to be building any ethanol plants, but we are eager to see Coskata succeed.
And anybody who's been on here for a while knows I'm a supporter of this type of Ethanol (it will save our V8's ), and I've been cruising the GM blogs for a while, and this is the first and only Ethanol Related blog where the resposes have been positive. nothing bad can be said about this type of Ethanol;

85% reduction in C02, Nearly 8 to 1 energy return. Is made out of garbage. (Anything that contains Carbon, which is....a lot of things...)

I'm so excited about this!
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Old 01-15-2008, 01:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtahvit View Post
Got it.

So, Methanol isn't seen a a viable alternate BIO fuel due to it's limited sources?

Last question on this. Promise.
Pretty much, the easiest way to make methanol in large quantities is to use methane (natural gas). Also, methanol is quite somewhat corrosive and eats away at metals like aluminum, bad for LS engines! It is cleaner and more powerful than ethanol (I think) but there are alot of problems that prevent it from comming into widespread use.

Oh, and Dragoneye, this technology pretty marks the end of my opposition to ethanol fuel
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Old 01-15-2008, 01:37 PM   #15
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This is excellent. I mean, gargage??? Geez...it's like Back to the Futrue when Doc and Marty dig through the trash can to fill up the Delorean before taking off in flight (end of part 2). This is seriously going to help us out. Less going to landfills....etc.
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