Bioenergy

New York Plans $20 M Cellulosic Ethanol Demonstration Plant

Mascoma Corporation received a $14.8 million award from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to build and operate a cellulosic biomass-to-ethanol demonstration plant in Rochester, New York, pending local permit approvals and definitive agreements.

The project will focus on demonstrating cellulose-to-ethanol technology and industrial processes. International Paper Co., Cornell University, Clarkson University and the Natural Resources Defense Council join Mascoma and Genencor as part of a consortium supporting the project. The facility is expected to operate using a number of New York State agricultural and/or forest products as biomass, including paper sludge, wood chips, switch grass and corn stover. Genencor also plans to add capacity at its existing manufacturing facility to supply enzymes to the demonstration facility. “After decades of research and development around the world, cellulosic ethanol technology has reached a point where we are ready to demonstrate the commercial scale production of ethanol from biomass,” said Colin South, president, Mascoma. “This plant will demonstrate the technologies we expect to rapidly move into commercial application.”