Honda Develops “Practical” Biomass Ethanol Process

Cindy Zimmerman

HondaHonda Motors and a Japanese-based research company says they have developed the world’s first practical process for producing ethanol from cellulosic biomass.

According to a news release, Honda and partner Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth, or RITE, the new method allows large volumes of ethanol to be produced from widely available waste wood, leaves and other so-called soft biomass. RITE

Current technology allows fermentation inhibitors, collaterally formed primarily during the process of separating cellulose and hemicellulose from soft-biomass, to interfere with the function of microorganisms that convert sugar into alcohol, leading to extremely low ethanol yield.

The new process uses a microorganism developed by RITE that helps reduce such interference, enabling far more efficient ethanol production.

Car Makers, Cellulosic, Ethanol