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Mascoma and UT join in $26M DOE grant
Date:4/21/2008

e's efforts to demonstrate how farm-based production of energy crops can supply a biorefinery and will support research to enhance the commercial feasibility of converting biomass crops into fuels and other products. UT, the University of Tennessee Research Foundation and Genera Energy are partners with Mascoma in the award.

Genera Energy is a limited liability company recently formed by the University of Tennessee Research Foundation for the purpose of managing the research, development and demonstration operations of the cellulosic ethanol biorefinery in Vonore, Tenn. Genera Energy will help transform the technological developments made by researchers into products for the marketplace. Cellulosic biofuels are referred to as the next or second generation of biofuels because they are not necessarily made with food-based commodities like corn. Researchers with the UT Institute of Agriculture are cooperating with scientists at ORNL, Mascoma and other partners to solve technical issues related to the production of cellulosic ethanol.

Earlier this year the University announced a farmer incentive program for production of switchgrass as a feedstock for the biorefinery. UT has contracted with 16 farmers within 50 miles of the biorefinery site to produce 720 acres of switchgrass this year. The number of participants is expected to increase to accommodate the needs of the biorefinery, and approximately 6,000 acres of switchgrass should be in production by 2010.

Genera Energy plans to have the demonstration biorefinery operational in early 2010, coinciding with the second annual harvest of switchgrass.

Kelly Tiller, director of operations for the UT Office of Bioenergy Programs, is charged with overseeing the university's efforts regarding the construction and operation of the biorefinery. "Forming Genera Energy allows us more flexibility in seeking partners for this first-of-its kind research and development effort," she said. "Ultimately
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Contact: Jay Mayfield
jay.mayfield@tennessee.edu
865-974-9409
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Source:Eurekalert  

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Mascoma and UT join in $26M DOE grant
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