Put a lawn in your tank

Cellulosic biofuel from grassesThe US uses more than 140 billion gallons of gasoline and almost 40 billion gallons of diesel fuel annually. Sixty percent is imported and likely to climb to eighty percent.

The Department of Energy projects the U.S. could produce 90 billion gallons of corn and cellulosic ethanol a year by 2030. This represents 60 billion adjusted energy gallons of fuel.

General Motors says it will offer half of its production bio-fuel capable in 2012 – provided there is ample availability and distribution of E85 -85 percent corn-based ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. I do not praise GM or any automobile maker for failing to prepare their production or their customers

Working for more than 30 years on ways to turn cellulose into ethanol, Bruce E. Dale, director of the Biomass Conversion Research Laboratory at Michigan State, states that “cellulosic ethanol – combined with the billions of gallons of corn-based ethanol already produced today – could potentially replace up to 30 percent of this nation’s demand for energy by the year 2030.

Said Dr. Dale, “Grassoline is domestically produced, environmentally sound and helps support rural and regional economic development.” Cellulosic ethanol could be produced for around $1 a gallon by 2020.

Cellulosic ethanol must be pre-treated and then broken down into sugars before they can be fermented, a step called cellulosis. He estimates that by 2012 the cost of ethanol production will be nearly halved, to about $1.30 per gallon. [Petroleum Alternatives, autospectator.com]