As interest in biofuel heats up, so does research into various forms. Alternatives are being studied, including camelina,, which can be grown on marginal farmland, and algae, but there are other opportunities too.
In Michigan, researchers from Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center are studying whether genes from fungi that live near bark beetles can efficiently produce bio-ethanol from stalks, leaves, wood chips, sawdust and dead trees.
Allison Leahy has more in this fascinating report in CleanTechies and Earth & Industry.
The Michigan research is an example of the tremendous progress being made in alternative fuels and clean energy - a movement that some analysts have likened to America's industrial revolution.
Advancements are announced regularly. Just today, I read this: the use of molten salt to store solar power so it can be used when the sun is not shining. An MIT study also is under way.
Who knows where all this will lead. The recent federal debt agreement casts doubt on Washington D.C.'s ability to participate, but some states, such as California, are pushing ahead with green agendas.
Some heavy hitters in the corporate world are pursuing sustainability as core programs. UPS just announced that its alternative fuel fleet motored 200 million miles over the past decade. Walmart, General Electric, Google and others, have recognized that going green produces green for the bottom line.
Let's hope the message spreads.