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Warrenville, IL, United States

Coskata, Inc. is a Warrenville, Illinois based energy company incorporated in 2006 by serial entrepreneur Andrew Perlman's GreatPoint Ventures group. The company is developing a process for the production of cellulosic ethanol from woodchips. Coskata's process combines both biological and thermochemical processing. The estimated cost of production via this technology was reported as under $1 per gallon, as opposed to corn-based ethanol costing approximately $1.40 per gallon Coskata announced in April 2008 that the company would begin producing ethanol on a small scale at a plant being built near Pittsburgh, PA. With a capacity of about 40,000 US gallons annually, the fuel will be used by General Motors to be tested in their vehicles. The pilot plant is being constructed in a modular design by Zeton Inc. in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. A full-scale production plant capable of producing 50 to 100 million US gallons of cellulosic ethanol was expected to go online in 2011. In October 2011, an article on the Coskata website stated that a "semi-commercial" pilot plant in Madison, Pennsylvania, had been running successfully for 2 years.In 2008, Coskata signed a deal with US Sugar Corporation to build a cane-waste biofuels conversion facility in Florida.Competitors include Fulcrum BioEnergy and LanzaTech. LanzaTech has successfully demonstrated its technology at Pilot scale in NZ –using Industrial waste gases from the steel industry as a feedstock for its microbial fermentation.As of March 2013, the company's web site stated "While our technology platform is capable of producing multiple fuels and chemicals from a diverse array of feedstocks, we are initially focused on commercializing our natural gas conversion process." Wikipedia.

A process for conversion of syngas to liquid products that serve as surface acting agents uses the gas stream at a relatively low pressure to eliminate the use of a compressor. The process uses a liquid stream as the primary energy input to a gas injector that intensely mixes gas and the liquid with reduced compression costs while the presence of the liquid product maintains the gas-liquid dispersion as it flows downward to build a static pressure head. The process lowers the required gas pressure by adjusting the elevation of the gas injector such that a conduit receives the gas-liquid dispersion from the outlet of the injector and confines it as it travels downward to enter the bottom of a column of liquid. The liquid product provides a surface acting agent that prolongs the creation and duration of microbubbles in the gas-liquid dispersion.

Integrated processes are provided for the bioconversion of syngas to oxygenated organic compound with the ability to recover essential compounds for the fermentation and recycle the compounds to the fermentation.

Processes are disclosed for the low energy, anaerobic bioconversion of hydrogen and carbon monoxide in a gaseous substrate stream to oxygenated organic compounds such as ethanol by contact with microorganisms in a deep, tank fermentation system with high conversion efficiency of both hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Gas feed to the reactor is injected using a motive liquid to form a stable dispersion of microbubbles thereby reducing energy costs, and a portion of the off-gases from the reactor are recycled to (i) achieve a conversion of the total moles of carbon monoxide and hydrogen in the gas substrate to oxygenated organic compound of at least about 80 percent and (ii) attenuate the risk of carbon monoxide inhibition of the microorganism used for the bioconversion.

Integrated processes are provided for syngas refining and bioconversion of syngas to oxygenated organic compound. In the integrated processes ammonia contained in the syngas is recovered and used as a source of nitrogen and water for the fermentation. The integrated processes first remove tars from syngas by scrubbing using a first aqueous medium under conditions that ammonium bicarbonate is unstable. With tars removed, contact between the syngas and a second aqueous medium enables ammonia and carbon dioxide to be removed from the syngas without undue removal of components adverse to the fermentation, processing or oxygenated product such as benzene, toluene, xylene, ethylene, acetylene, and hydrogen cyanide. At least a portion of the second aqueous medium is supplied as a source of water and ammonia for the fermentation.

Essential genes coding for the metabolic pathway of solventogenic autotrophic Clostridia were sequenced, and functionality was confirmed. The present invention utilizes a comparative inter-species approach to develop the minimum set of essential genes for metabolic function and estimate productivity in species of suspected solventogenic capability.

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