Urbin Report

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ethanol from Garbage and Old Tires

Good news for America, bad news for those making a killing over liquid pork. Details at MIT Tech Review (registration required)

The tubes are the core of a bioreactor, which is itself the heart of a new tech­nology that Coskata claims can make etha­nol out of wood chips, household garbage, grass, and old tires--indeed, just about any organic material. The bioreactor, Tobey explains, allows the company to combine thermochemical and biological approaches to synthesizing ethanol. Taking advantage of both, he says, makes Coskata's process cheaper and more versatile than either the technologies widely used today to make ethanol from corn or the experimental processes designed to work with sources other than corn.