The key to cheap ethanol may lie in these bottles.
Mascoma hunts around the world for naturally occurring microorganisms and then uses genetic engineering to enhance certain characteristics. Its ethanol production design is called consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) because it aims to create ethanol in a single step, using the cellulose in nonfood plants.
Existing biochemical methods of cellulosic-ethanol production rely on adding enzymes and yeasts to make ethanol. But that significantly adds to the costs. Mascoma's bet is that it can design a microbe that does it all: metabolizes cellulose and produces ethanol.
September 22, 2008 12:00 PM PDT
Photo by: Martin LaMonica/CNET Networks
| Caption by: Martin LaMonica
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