6 Signs Cellulosic Ethanol Is Making Progress

After reading “The Rush to Ethanol” report, we gave ethanol, particularly corn-based ethanol, a pretty hard time. But celluosic ethanol, which uses plant waste and non-food crops like switch grass, has received a lot of research and media attention in the U.S. recently. It’s able to avoid the food-vs-fuel debate and many consider it a key resource for a renewable biofuel future.

Researchers have been working on cracking the cellulosic code for years — since the 90’s according to this New York Times article. And large scale cellulosic ethanol production (15 billion gallons per year) is still another decade away according to Mark Holtzapple, professor of chemical engineering at Texas A&M in this interview.

But there has been some significant investment into bringing cellulosic plants online lately, particularly through government funds. Here’s 6 events that highlight how cellulosic ethanol is making progress in the U.S: