Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
  Energy News  

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Researchers Will Work With Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

File photo of a ethanol based power plant.
by Staff Writers
Potsdam NY (SPX) Dec 27, 2006
Susan Powers, associate dean for Research and Graduate Studies at Clarkson's Coulter School of Engineering, was paying special attention today when Governor Pataki announced that $24 million was being awarded to two companies for the development and construction of the state's first cellulosic ethanol plants.

That's because Powers and other environmental researchers and students at Clarkson will participate in the project with Mascoma Corporation, one of the companies receiving the state funding. Mascoma, with the help of a $14 million grant from the governor, will build a 500,000-gallon-a-year cellulosic ethanol pilot facility in Greece, near Rochester.

In addition to Clarkson University, strategic partners with Mascoma on the project will be Cornell University and Genencor, a well-known supplier of enzymes for the conversion of starch to fermentable sugar in the production of fuel ethanol. The multi-feedstock plant will be commissioned initially on paper sludge.

After an expected several month shakedown, the facility will add additional feedstocks, including, but not limited to, wood chips, switchgrass, willow and corn fiber. International Paper will supply the plant with paper sludge and Seaway Timber Harvesting, a Massena company, has been identified as a supplier for hardwood chips.

Under Powers' leadership, Clarkson will apply life cycle analysis (LCA) tools to quantify mass and energy flows to analyze regional environmental and societal impact of the pilot plant. The researchers are also interested in refining the actual metrics currently being used by various governmental agencies to gauge outcomes.

Some bio fuel experts feel that ethanol made from corn is not viable or sustainable because it requires too much energy to produce and monopolizes valuable farmland, which could be used to grow other crops. On the other hand, cellulosic ethanol utilizes common materials, such as grasses, willows and hardwood chips - materials that can be grown on marginal land.

Mascoma, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in collaboration with universities like Clarkson, is aggressively pursuing the development and commercialization of advanced cellulose-to-ethanol technologies. Powers provided written support of Mascoma's efforts to secure funding from New York State's Department of Agriculture and Markets for the pilot facility.

"By collaborating with Mascoma, Clarkson faculty and students will gain key insights into the requirements for commercial viability and gain an opportunity to engage in the up-front planning phases of a live bio-fuels demonstration plant," said Powers. "Additionally, participation in the project will provide Clarkson with a unique opportunity to develop and refine input/output modeling methodologies to study material and energy balances for developmental processes and facilities."

Catalyst Renewables Corporation, a renewable energy company out of Texas, was awarded $10 million to build a 130,000-gallon-a-year pilot biorefinery adjacent to their existing wood-to-energy plant in Lyonsdale.

Although technical and supply barriers still exist in the production of cellulose ethanol, the governor pointed out that the development of renewable homegrown fuels is key to reducing our dependence on imported energy, creating new high tech jobs and new markets for our agricultural and forest products. Clarkson and St. Lawrence County figure to be key to the state's renewable energy efforts.

Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
Clarkson University
Powering The World in the 21st Century at
Powering The World in the 21st Century at

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Outperforms Diesel Counterpart
Robins AFB GA (AFNS) Dec 21, 2006
Air Force Materiel Command officials here are tied to a project that could provide warfighters at remote bases with a cleaner, quieter way to power runway lights and other electrically powered devices. Air Force Advanced Power Technology Office, or APTO, officials here held a December demonstration of a hydrogen fuel cell for providing power at remote locations.

  • Researchers Will Work With Cellulosic Ethanol Plant
  • Hydrogen Fuel Cell Outperforms Diesel Counterpart
  • B-52 Flight Uses Synthetic Fuel In All Eight Engines
  • Easy Come, Easy Go: Shell And Sakhalin

  • U.S. eyeing return to nuclear energy
  • Canada Eyes Nuclear Power To Boost Alberta Oil Sands Production
  • Soviet-Era Uranium Arrives In Russia From Germany
  • Thorium Poised To Meet World's Energy Needs

  • U.S. wood-fired boilers cause concern
  • Climate Change Affecting Outermost Atmosphere Of Earth
  • TIMED Celebrates 5-Year Anniversary
  • Steering Clear Of Icy Skies

  • CT scans used to analyze wood
  • Case Western Reserve University Biologists Suspect Lightning Fires Help Preserve Oak Forests
  • Brazil Creates World's Biggest Forest Preserve
  • Report Outlines Funding To Conserve Half Of Massachusetts's Land

  • Gene silencing used to make better potato
  • Slag keeps rabbits out of wheat fields
  • Scientists create pesticide sunscreen
  • Organic calf born in New Hampshire

  • New Version of Award Winning Vehicle Simulation Modeling Software
  • US Car Manufacturers Hit Back At Environmental Damages Claim
  • Britain Gets First On-Street Electric Car Chargers
  • Invention Could Solve "Bottleneck" In Developing Pollution-Free Cars

  • IATA Gives Cautious Welcome To EU Emissions Trading Plan
  • EU Proposes CO2 Emission Quotas For Airlines
  • Shoulder Ligament A Linchpin In The Evolution Of Flight
  • EU Compromises On Airlines In Carbon-Trading Scheme

  • Could NASA Get To Pluto Faster? Space Expert Says Yes - By Thinking Nuclear
  • NASA plans to send new robot to Jupiter
  • Los Alamos Hopes To Lead New Era Of Nuclear Space Tranportion With Jovian Mission
  • Boeing Selects Leader for Nuclear Space Systems Program

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement