July 15th, 2007


First cellulosic ethanol plant goes online in Georgia.

Cellulosic ethanol can contain up to 16 times more energy than is required to create it! If that doesn't sound ridiculously impressive, consider that gasoline contains only 5 times more energy than was required to create it and corn ethanol is totally lame, containing only 1.3 times the energy required to create it.

So yes, this is very exciting. Unfortunately, it's still more expensive than sugar ethanol (and gasoline) to create. This is generally because scientists have focused on expensive enzymatic processes that create ethanol at very low concentrations. Range biofuels uses a more straightforward thermo-chemical process to gasify the cellulose and then convert it to ethanol.

Range fuels will be creating its ethanol from wood chips, which contain a very large amount of energy (think fire.) The plant, which will be completed in 2008, will create over 100 million gallons of ethanol per year.