Mascoma Cellulosic Ethanol Plant Now Operational

Mascoma Corporation announced at the end of last week that its demonstration facility in Rome, New York, is now producing ethanol from non-food cellulosic biomass. Completed in December 2008, the company says that the plant is one of the largest facilities converting non-food biomass into cellulosic ethanol in the United States.

The facility currently has a production capacity of up to 200,000 gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year. Mascoma began constructing the plant in early 2008. The demonstration facility has the flexibility to run on numerous biomass feedstocks including wood chips, tall grasses, corn stover (residual corn stalks) and sugar cane bagasse.

The company has committed to partnering with local businesses for feedstock supply and is currently purchasing wood chips from a local sawmill.

The plant was funded in part by grants from the State of New York that were approved in December 2006. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York State Power Authority (NYPA) provided the funding on the State’s behalf. Research partners at the facility include State University of New York – College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Cornell University and Clarkson University.

“The early success of this project demonstrates that feedstocks for renewable fuels can be harvested right here in New York State,” said Francis Murray Jr., president and CEO of NYSERDA.

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