Chrysler Shows Support for Ethanol-driven Cars

The latest big brand carmaker to show support for ethanol-driven cars is Chrysler: the company has just signed a cooperation agreement with ZeaChem Inc.

 

The partnership's aim is to speed up market acceptance levels and development of cellusic ethanol technology and to improve its credibility among both consumers and regulators in the United States.

 

They do not want to get involved in the "food for fuel" debate, but rather increase awareness among consumers and lawmakers about the environmental benefits of using low-carbon high-yield cellulosic ethanol as a fuel.

 

ZeaChem's President and CEO, Jim Imbler, claims that the company's manufacturing process delivers 40% higher ethanol yields.  He says the company hopes to fast track mass production through strategic alliances.

 

ZeaChem has developed a unique combined thermochemical and biochemical process during which ethanol is produced through the fermentation of sugars from biomass to acetogens.  These acetogens hold various benefits over other processes: it can break down biomass products and it remains operational under harsh conditions without emitting CO2 as a by-product.  The acid that is created in the process is then transformed into an ester, which in turn is hydrogenised to create ethanol.

 

This is not the first time ZeaChem has entered into a major alliance.  Earlier in 2011 it signed a long term contract with GreenWood Tree Farm, the terms of which means it will supply the company with hybrid poplar woody biomass to be used in its cellosic biorefinary.

 

Chrysler is of course not a newcomer to alternative fuels: since 1998 the company has produced two million flexible fuel cars.

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