In the last
twenty-five years, our government has spent considerable research dollars
developing various technologies to convert cellulosic biomass to ethanol.
The development of genetically engineered microorganisms for ethanol
production from cellulosic biomass is just one such technology. In
addition to the recombinant yeast developed by Dr. Ho’ s group,
substantial progress has also been made in the development of various
other technologies important to the effective production of ethanol from
cellulosic biomass. Recently, Iogen, a Canadian company, has utilized many
of these developments and inaugurated the production of cellulosic ethanol
at industrial scale.
According to very conservative estimates reported by U.S. government
agencies, 30% of the corn stover (the residue left behind in the cornfield
after harvest) generated by American farmers could produce 4-5 billion
gallons of ethanol per year. Other estimations were as high as 15 or more
billion gallons of ethanol per year in the US from corn stover alone.
Producing between 5 and 15 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol will
provide numerous high-paying jobs in rural areas and will save billions of
dollars required to import oil from foreign countries.
We believe that cellulosic ethanol production in the US could begin with
the smaller, farmer-owned ethanol plants by converting them into plants
for co-producing both grain and cellulosic ethanol. The resulting plants
could easily double their ethanol production and triple their profits
using new recombinant yeasts to produce high-value co-products with
grain-ethanol and cellulosic ethanol.
Ethanol plants usually do not produce their own yeast. Instead, yeast
are purchased from yeast companies. Currently, most yeast companies
provide yeasts for both the food and the ethanol industry. We believe
there is a need for a new type of yeast company, which will not only focus
upon the production of the recombinant yeast that can co-produce high value
co-products for fuel ethanol production, but also work closely with the
ethanol producers to recover and market the various co-products that could
be generated from these new ethanol plants. Green Tech America is the
first such unique yeast company to specifically serve the ethanol industry
to jump-start cellulosic ethanol production in this country.
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