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October 17, 2007



We've been doing this with a fungus that grows wild in Maine; slower but same result and you don't have the cost component.

Experimenting with ways to accelerate this 'natural' decomposition of wood; wonder whether the enzymes are genetically modified or natural extractions?


Part of the answer may be that all celluloses are not the same - wood is different from corn stover and switchgrass. Enzymes that work on some celluloses may not work as effectively on others. Also, pretreatment of the cellulose to open the cellulose for enzyme treatment is critical to effeciency, which is why soft wood pulp is an initial target cellulose material but not as-is wood chips. I suspect there is still work to do on bringing the cost of enzymes down to where they need to be to be competitive.


FJH, my undestanding is that Genencor has been working on genetically modified enzymes orginally derived from natural sources.


There have been a few announcements of early cellulosic ethanol plants. Here is one.

I don't know if any of these are commercially viable, or are being build to acquire experience under the belief that the field will become profitable in a few years. I also suspect that the sale prices of byproducts may not hold up to the scaling up of the industry.

Kit P

I am having a hard time finding much not to like about the ethanol industry. First, lots of good jobs are being created in small towns by creating higher value for marginal crops. Second, it reduces the amount of money we send to unstable governments. Third, it provides what looks to be an expandable option that can be marketed to around the world.


Dear Sir(s)
India is generating large quantities of sugar cane bagasses & this lignocellulosic biomass
is either used for ineffient burning or as domestic fuel.
I am interested to initiate a proposal to our
Dept of Sci & Technology to establish a Bench Scale Pilot plant & subsequently a Pilot plant
for production of Ethanol from bagasses, in above context may I request you to send me an
outline of infra stucture for above projects & fund required.
Dr P K MAITRA (formerly Head R&D, PSU Co)Date 24th Dec -2007

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