Cellulosic Ethanol: The Bio-Fuel that Really Makes Sense

For decades, those who want to move away from a dependence on fossil fuels have been advocating the use of bio-fuels. A decade ago, an unholy alliance of enviro-zealots and agri-business interests succeeded in engineering a massive ethanol subsidy. That subsidy has redirected an enormous amount of grain from feeding people and animals to the inefficient production of automotive fuel. For many years, the Trends editors have highlighted the economic irrationality and moral bankruptcy of this strategy. As we’ve observed, commercialization of cellulosic ethanol technology could deliver all the benefits of corn ethanol, while eliminating over half of the solid waste clogging our landfills and dramatically reducing the price of food worldwide. At last, the set of technologies needed to realize this vision is becoming available. So, what’s ahead? What are the implications and how can you profit? We’ll provide the answers.

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