Monday, June 9, 2008

Cellulose Ethanol Second Generation Biofuel


In the search of renewable energy, turning low volume materials such as switch grass and corn husks into ethanol to fuel cars in some thing of a holy grill. In theory these raw materials should replace the corn grain from main feed stock of ethanol in United States, thus reducing the pressure farmland that played a role in increasing food prices and put drivers into compaction with human hunger.
Front line researchers and investors are finding it hard to market this process commercially and environmentally viable.
Microbiologist Anthony Clarke at the University of Guelph in southwestern Ontario sees the future of renewable fuel but dose not find corn kernel feasible. Anthony states that we have all the other parts of a corn plant, leaves stalk and the husk to produce cellulose ethanol and he also mentions the acid and energy required in the process... turning plant waste into cellulose ethanol is not an simple procedure as acid and stem required in the processing both need energy to be made. So more energy in going in at the moment then the amount being recovered. With the current technology cellulose delivers less energy then corn. But if the scientists succeed in developing there dream technology cellulose ethanol can be 3 to 8 times more efficient then corn ethanol.
Clarke and his team are working on micro organisms that produce cellulose enzymes that can munch on these raw materials the way bacteria in cow help break down and digest grass.
This bio-technology should allow production of cellulose ethanol on commercial scale, resulting into a cheep bio-fuel not directly linked to food grain. This research is being funded by Logen an Ottawa-based market leader of second generation biofuels.There is another very common negative approach towards biofuels. Canadian energy coordinator David Martin, aggress to the fact that plants provide a cleaner source of fuel compared to fossil fuel as no new CO2 is added to the atmosphere.
Last 1 year of reviews portrayed biofuel manufacturers as a space goat or giant maggots graving away all the food grain holding them responsible for inflation in food. Price of a bushel in the past three years raised thrice with a record of $6 and above.
Canadian produce and distributor of Greenfield ethanol Robert Gallant aggress to the fact that the height cost of grain is directly related to the high cost of fuel in USA and even in Pakistan where energy scarcity is common. It should be clear that the lift in the cost of grain has very little to do with the actual cost of the grain. Robert also foresees corn ethanol as a step stone towards cellulose ethanol, and hope that cellulose ethanol should be able to take place of wheat & corn ethanol which s a major source of ethanol production in north America.
Hopes are that when cellulose ethanol comes into the market it should be able to replace not only grain ethanol but also quite a few petroleum products, this also means a promise of a positive environmental impact with this second generation of biofuels . Biofuel is also promising as already they are working on its third generation in which raw material for production is algae.

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