The development is focused on Mascoma’s single-step biochemical conversion of non-grain biomass into low-carbon alternative fuels to help address increasing energy demand. It ties in with another partnership announced earlier this year with Coskata that uses a thermo-chemical process to make ethanol from non-grain sources.
“Taken together, these technologies represent what we see as the best in the cellulosic ethanol future and cover the spectrum in science and commercialization,” GM President Fritz Henderson said. “Demonstrating the viability of sustainable non-grain based ethanol is critical to developing the infrastructure to support the flex-fuel vehicle market.”
Mascoma has raised significant equity from venture capital investments and secured more than $60 million in state and federal grants, including the recent awarding of a $26 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
“Cellulosic biofuels represent next-generation renewable energy, and have the potential to reduce oil dependence, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and stimulate regional economic development,” Mascoma Chairman and CEO Bruce Jamerson said. “Our transformational technology will allow us to combine the affordable non-grain biomass with low-cost conversion techniques to make ethanol more quickly, efficiently and economically than is possible with other biochemical methods.”
GM’s multi-dimensional involvement with Mascoma will include projects to evaluate materials and other fuels for specific engine applications as well as collaborating on Mascoma’s efforts to expand its commercialization projects globally, including promotion of increased biofuels distribution.