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Steane Klose | Jan 15, 2008

With a plethora of unveilings and new concepts stealing the limelight at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show it is easy to miss the smaller newsworthy stories that can be just as interesting. With the hunt on for a source of renewable energy to drive the World’s car fleet well into the new century, GM have announced a partnership with Coskata, a “Next Generation Ethanol Company”.

Coskata have patented microorganisms and bioreactor designs that are capable of producing ethanol for less than a US dollar per gallon (approx 3.8-litres), which equates to half the current cost of producing petrol.

According to Coskata, ethanol can be produced from household waste, old tyres and even the plant stalks that remain after a crop has been harvested, as they all contain carbon which can be turned into fuel, cheaply and efficiently.

The big concern, aside from finding a renewable fuel source is the economic impact of the fuels use, and Coskata claim that their technology reduces emissions by up to 84 percent when compared to petrol.

Which all sounds great in theory, but turning production of this low cost and clean ethanol into an economic reality is of course a different story and one that we will watch with great interest.

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