Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Cellulosic ethanol

Nice article that's not too long by the NRDC on cellulosic ethanol. Class- please read this one for sure! The NRDC obviously has a point of view, but this seems mostly pretty factual. See what you think.

Ethanol, basically gasoline from plants, is a nice idea: if we can grow as much as we use, then it's carbon neutral and won't contribute to climate change. Unfortunately, so far, the only means for doing so that's been close to workable has involved using corn or sugar cane: crops that are otherwise consumed by people as food. If the same material fuels cars and people, that means demand for that product goes up. If supply is the same, that means the quantity demanded rises, and so do prices. No one wants to see higher food prices caused by the need for fuels, so people have long sought to develop technologies to convert other plants to ethanol. The technologies have been known for awhile, but they haven't been cost effective. Now, thanks to government incentives and creative engineers, there's hope. Read the article for the exciting conclusion!

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