Saturday, May 31, 2008

At Least This Makes Sense

Verenium starts up demonstration cellulosic facility | Cleantech.com Use waste to make ethanol instead of food crops. That should make the ethanol cheaper and make the food cheaper.
Verenium said the 1.4 million gallon per year plant uses specialty enzymes to convert non-food biomass into ethanol.
OK so it is a prototype plant.

And they do have hopes of building a 30 million gallon per year plant. That sounds good until you look at some numbers. 30 million gallons is only 714,300 barrels a year. (There are 42 gallons in a barrel) The US consumes 20,687,000 barrels per day. And when you add in the fact that there is more energy stored in a barrel of oil than in a barrel of ethanol, well you can see it will be a while before we replace oil with biofuels.

Turning food into fuel, doesn't make sense. Turning what is currently waste into fuel makes sense. I just doubt it would be enough in the long run to replace our dependence on oil.

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