Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ethanol Update


Test plots of switchgrass at Auburn University have produced up to 15 tons of dry biomass per acre, and five- year yields average 11.5 tons—enough to make 1,150 gallons of ethanol per acre each year.

WASHINGTON--Gulf Ethanol Corp. has indicated that it will no longer use food-based crops to produce biofuels.

Instead, the company will use feedstock such as sorghum, switchgrass and other non-food biomass. "We won't burn your food," President J.T. Cloud said. "The answer to rising fuel prices is not to run away from alternative energy production. It is to move rapidly toward the use of non-food feedstocks that are abundant and cheap."

The U.S. Department of Energy says that biofuels—made from crops of native grasses, such as fast- growing switchgrass—could reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil, curb emissions of the "greenhouse gas" carbon dioxide, and strengthen America's farm economy.
Other companies have expressed similar opinions. Most recently, Michael Jackson, President of Syntec Biofuel indicated that his company's processes "only uses waste biomass such as wood chips, sawdust, bark, agricultural waste, corn stover, wheat straw, etc. to produce its biofuels."

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