BOSTON, MA --- Mascoma Corp., a leader in the development of low-carbon cellulosic ethanol, announced that the company's demonstration facility in Rome, NY, is now producing ethanol from non-food cellulosic biomass.

"This is an important milestone for the cellulosic ethanol industry and for Mascoma. We are grateful for the support NYSERDA and NYPA have provided for the past two years," said Bruce A. Jamerson, CEO of Mascoma Corp. "They have been outstanding partners and we couldn't have built this plant without them." 

Completed in December 2008, the Rome, NY, plant is one of the largest facilities converting non-food biomass into cellulosic ethanol in the United States. The facility currently has a production capacity of up to 200,000 of cellulosic ethanol per year.

Construction began in early 2008.

"The early success of this project demonstrates that feedstocks for renewable fuels can be harvested right here in New York State,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., president and CEO of NYSERDA. "The commercialization of environmentally sustainable transportation fuels is part of Gov. David Paterson's comprehensive energy policy, which will help revitalize the upstate economy and reduce our dependence on foreign oil."

"The successful start-up and operations at the Rome facility are an essential step towards our commercial goals and underscore the effectiveness of Mascoma's unique technology," said Jim Flatt, executive vice president of research and development and operations at Mascoma. "The state of New York and our local business partners have together helped us move one step closer to our goal of producing cost-competitive cellulosic ethanol at commercial scale."

The demonstration facility has the flexibility to run on numerous biomass feedstocks, including wood chips, tall grasses, corn stover (residual corn stalks) and sugar cane bagasse. The company has committed to partnering with local businesses for feedstock supply and is currently purchasing wood chips from a local sawmill.

"We're pleased that Mascoma Corp. had the forethought to keep such an innovative facility here in the Rome area,” said State Senator Joseph A. Griffo. "This is an industry that's at the cutting edge of helping us become more energy-efficient and I commend NYSERDA and NYPA for their partnership."