E85 Madness: GM Car Czar Maximum Bob Back to Normal

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

As we mentioned yesterday, GM has bought a piece of Coskata, a bacteria-loving ethanol high tech start-up. Speaking to DailyTech, GM Car Czar Maximum Bob Lutz described the process. "All the other companies use enzymes, which are incredibly expensive." Instead, Coskata grinds organic wastes into a powder which is "then exposed to plasma, which causes the organic powder to ferment, releasing carbon-chain gas." [NB: plasma is a superheated ionized gas which would incinerate the material] This gas "rises into the air where natural anaerobic bacteria eats [sic] the gas molecules and excretes [sic] ethanol and water vapor." [NB 2: anaerobic bacteria can't survive "in the air"] Maximum Bob promises a pilot plant will produce ethanol this year. By 2011, they'll be cranking out 50 to 100m gallons of ethanol per year. And get this: "The price per gallon to produce the fuel is approximately $1 per gallon." MB admits that overhead, profits, shipping, etc. will raise that price to around $2 per gallon. And they'll have to fight big oil to get their cheap fuel to the masses as "less than 1% of the pumps in the U.S. are ethanol-equipped." Here's a thought: why not give GM dealers ethanol pumps? That would more than quadruple America's E85 outlets at a stroke. Sorry, Bob; make that "with one move."

Frank Williams
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  • Ihatetrees Ihatetrees on Jan 15, 2008
    Queensnet: ... We will just move teh problme from the one area to another. We just use too much energy As we become a richer society, we can afford to use more energy (and do). Unless marginal energy use is taxed, conservation & CAFE standards only work to a certain price point. People will adjust, drive more or use more electric. I wonder how long until the average middle class home has an entire wall or two covered with flat panel TV? It'll always be on - with a nice landscape or favorite family pic...
  • Anonymous Anonymous on Jan 15, 2008

    After carefully examining the Playboy forum.... :-)

  • SunnyvaleCA SunnyvaleCA on Jan 15, 2008
    And they'll have to fight big oil to get their cheap fuel to the masses as "less than 1% of the pumps in the U.S. are ethanol-equipped." I think I see a flaw in Bob's logic. If they can get the price to the consumer to $2/gallon, they will have absolutely no problems whatsoever convincing fueling stations to put in the 110 octane fuel pumps.
  • 50merc 50merc on Jan 16, 2008

    I have no doubt that ethanol can transform the vehicle fuel marketplace. It has already demonstrated the power to make men notice that Playboy also contains words, not just pictures.