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Coskata gets GM funding help


In an announcement that revived hope in Greenbang’s attempts to turn lead into gold, ethanol fuel company Coskata has revealed it can make a gallon of fuel “from practically any renewable source, including garbage, old tires and plant waste” using microorganisms.

The promise of turning tat into treasure has attracted the eye and the wallet of General Motors, the pair revealed.

The partnership includes an undisclosed equity stake for GM, joint research and development into emissions technology and investigation into making ethanol from GM facilities’ waste and non-recyclable vehicle parts.

The Coskata partnership builds on a quarter century of GM research into biofuels and is part of GM’s five-fold approach to providing energy alternatives for automobiles. These include continued efforts in making fuel-efficient engines; E85 ethanol; hybrids; electrically driven vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells.

And having signed on the dotted line, GM is apparently seeing ethanol being big in China.

For GM, this could lead to joint efforts in markets such as China, where growing energy demand and a new energy research center could jumpstart a significant effort into ethanol made from biomass, [GM CEO Rick] Wagoner said.

More immediately, GM will receive the first ethanol from Coskata’s pilot plant in the fourth quarter of 2008. The fuel will be used in testing vehicles at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds.

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