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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Cellulosic Ethanol

GREEN GOLD TAKES A NEW FORM

Cellulosic Ethanol: "May 2005 eNews Bulletin Creating Cellulosic Ethanol: Spinning Straw into Fuel by Diane Greer April, 2005 In the Grimm Brother's fairy tale, Rumpelstiltskin spins straw into gold. Thanks to advances in biotechnology, researchers can now transform straw, and other plant wastes, into 'green' gold - cellulosic ethanol.

CHEMICALLY IDENTICAL

While chemically identical to ethanol produced from corn or soybeans, cellulose ethanol exhibits a net energy content three times higher than corn ethanol and emits a low net level of greenhouse gases. Recent technological developments are not only improving yields but also driving down production cost, bringing us nearer to the day when cellulosic ethanol could replace expensive, imported 'black gold' with a sustainable, domestically produced biofuel.

  1. Yield
  2. Production cost
  3. Low level of greenhouse gases
  4. Replacing expensive imported black gold
National Resources Defense Council

Cellulosic ethanol has the potential to substantially reduce our consumption of gasoline. 'It is at least as likely as hydrogen to be an energy carrier of choice for a sustainable transportation sector,' say the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Union of Concerned Scientists in a joint statement.

END OF OIL DEPENDENCE IN SIGHT?

Major companies and research organizations are also realizing the potential. Shell Oil has predicted 'the global market for biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol will grow to exceed $10 billion by 2012.' A recent study funded by the Energy Foundation and the National Commission on Energy Policy, entitled "Growing Energy: How Biofuels Can Help End America's Oil Dependence", concluded "biofuels coupled with vehicle efficiency and smart growth could reduce the oil dependency of our transportation sector by two-thirds by 2050 in a sustainable way."


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