Recent reports from Sandia National Laboratories and General Motors have estimated that by 2030, alternative energy and biofuels in the U.S will replace one-third of annual gasoline consumption. One of the clean technology forerunners contributing to this reduction is cellulosic ethanol. Cellulosic ethanol is already being produced on a commercial scale by several companies across the U.S. and is already commercially viable:
- Fewer steps used to break down waste product means more conversion potential for fermentable components
- No impact on essential food resources (unlike corn-based ethanol production)
- Produced from agricultural waste products/non-food sources (switchgrass and wood chips)
- Reduction in air pollution (traditional gas production can radiate roughly 75-80% more CO2 emissions)
- Reduction in green house gases (traditional reformulated gas production can emit roughly 80% more green house gases)
- Reduction in fine particle emissions (traditional gasoline production can discharge roughly 50% more fine particle emissions)
Part II: We'll outline an up and coming cellulosic ethanol producer, Qteros, and why their technology is making cellulosic ethanol an attractive fuel alternative.