How Green Is Trash? Turning Garbage to Biodiesel

The rise and fall of biodiesel was so fast, you may not have even noticed it happening.

Two years ago, the fuel market was going to be revolutionized by a process that converts corn into diesel fuel. Today many people scorn a process that takes food off plates and may actually waste more energy than it creates.

Enter Coskata Inc., which has a new process that it terms FlexibleEthanol. The company just announced the successful start-up of its semi-commercial facility to produce the fuel. Unlike other technologies and facilities that rely on one primary substance to produce fuel—be it corn, rapeweed, jatropha or even algae—the company’s facility will produce ethanol from numerous sources, including wood biomass, agricultural waste, construction waste and even household garbage.