Thursday, July 13, 2006
James Fraser links to and comments upon a DOE report detailing a plan to replace up to 30% of the nations ethanol use by 2030. If the numbers are good, then it may actually be practical. There have been big breakthroughs lately in cellulosic ethanol production. Note though that if ALL of a crop is used (and not just the edible bits) then nothing is used for silage nor turned back into the soil. Livestock production and ultimately soil quality might well suffer unless some interesting crop rotations are implemented, and modern factory farms are ill suited to this. Still this is intriguing.
In other news, DARPA is soliciting proposals to develop a biofuel replacement for jet fuel.
In yet more news that is somewhat related (not actually fuel, but....) Green Car Congress reports that Kyoto University has developed a cellulose based material that is as tough as soft steel or magnesium at one fifth the weight.