According to a Business Wire report, the facility has amassed over 15,000 run hours of operation and successfully converted wood biomass and municipal solid waste into fuel-grade ethanol.
"The data and operating experience cultivated at this pre-commercial scale facility has conclusively demonstrated that the Coskata technology is ready for commercial production today," said Coskata president and CEO Bill Roe. "With an industry leading yield of more than 100 gallons of ethanol coming from a dry ton of wood biomass, we look forward to working with industry partners to rapidly deploy this leading conversion technology and help the country meet the Renewable Fuels Standard."
The integrated biorefinery, which uses plasma gasification technology provided by Westinghouse Plasma Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Alter NRG, was built to demonstrate the commercial readiness of the Coskata technology. According to Coskata, it is the largest scale facility that has utilized syngas fermentation into ethanol technology.
"The Coskata technology has shown that it can convert syngas produced by Alter from a wide variety of feedstocks, into fuel grade ethanol," says Alter CEO Mark Montemurro. "We are very excited about offering our customers the option to make ethanol from syngas. The ability to economically produce liquid transportation fuels from municipal waste in commercial volumes is a significant shift in the choices of alternate energy platforms and may have project development cycles shorter than that of electric power."
The technology proven at the Pennsylvania facility will be used at the company's first commercial-scale facility in Alabama, of which Coskata was awarded a conditional commitment for a loan guarantee from the United States Department of Agriculture.
The successful run time of the facility is a significant advancement for the industry, and a tangible demonstration that cellulosic biofuels from this advantaged process are ready to be deployed.