Coskata’s newly-opened semi-commercial flex ethanol facility in Madison, Pennsylvania is as small as it can possibly be. Co-located at a Westinghouse facility that also in some fashion uses nuclear energy, the Lighthouse project, as it’s called, is running 24/7 to turn wood chips into ethanol. It’s also intended to show off just how far Coskata has come since emerging from stealth mode almost two years ago. Oh, and the plant can also be scaled up to fit the needs of cellulosic ethanol producers from coast to coast.
The Lighthouse plant follows the Horizon integrated processing plant that started in 2008 in Warrenville, Illinois and precedes the Flagship plant that is due for 2012 at a location somewhere in the Southeast U.S. that will be announced later. The location for the Flagship plant has been selected, but Coskata will not specify where it is exactly until it can talk more specifically about the financing arrangements involved for the 55-million-gallon-per-year plant that will use forest residue and other woody biomass. Coskata says the Flagship will be “the first commercially-viable, feedstock-flexible ethanol facility.” Coskata has not taken any government money to date, but they may apply for DOE loan guarantees for the Flagship plant. Coskata will not expand the Madison Lighthouse facility. In fact, they’re only located there as a guest and will leave when the contract is up. The facility is modular and will actually be dismantled and trucked to the Flagship location in the future.
What might this plant offer, both for partner GM and for the U.S.’s biofuel needs? Find out after the jump.
Photos copyright (C)2009 Sebastian Blanco / Weblogs, Inc.
Coskata’s new Lighthouse cellulosic ethanol plant, in depth originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Fri, 16 Oct 2009 19:22:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.