STILLWATER, Okla. The Oklahoma State University Biofuels Teams ability to think small microscopic, actually stands to provide great dividends for consumers, a renewable energy company and one of the nations foremost automakers.
Biology based renewable energy company Coskata Inc. and automotive giant General Motors announced their cooperative plans to reduce fossil fuel consumption this past weekend, thanks in part to Coskatas next generation ethanol process based on research and technology developed by the OSU Biofuels Team and licensed exclusively to Coskata.
Coskatas unique three-step conversion process addresses many of the constraints lodged against current renewable energy options, including environmental, transportation and land-use concerns, said Wes Bolsen, chief marketing officer and vice president of business development for Coskata.
In the three-step process, carbon-based materials are converted into synthesis gas using well-established gasification technologies. After the chemical bonds are broken using gasification, microorganisms licensed to Coskata as part of the OSU Biofuels research convert the resulting syngas into ethanol by consuming carbon monoxide and hydrogen in the gas stream. Once the gas-to-liquid conversion process has occurred, the resulting ethanol is recovered from the solution using vapor permeation technology.
The Coskata process has the potential to yield more than 100 gallons of ethanol per dry ton of carbonaceous feedstock, reducing production costs to less than $1 per gallon, Bolsen said.
According to an independent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Energys Argonne National Laboratory, Coskatas process using the OSU Biofuels Team microorganisms can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 84 percent compared to conventional gasoline.
The process also has no back-end solid waste to dry and handle like enzymatic approaches to ethanol production and uses les
|Contact: Donald Stotts|
Oklahoma State University