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Posts Tagged ‘energy media challenge’

US to Expand Seeding of Biomass, Yet Another Reason For Increasing Public Understanding

by May 2, 2011

In her most recent post (NYT), Elisabeth Rosenthal outlines recent efforts by the US Department of Agriculture and the Department of Energy to provide seed funding to fledgling businesses in the biomass fuel industry.

Discussions of biofuels have been in the news a lot in recent years. In the U.S., that has primarily focused on creating ethanol from corn, or biodiesel from soybeans, although many companies are working on second-generation strategies for creating liquid fuels. While biomass is commonly used for heat (think firewood), Rosenthal’s post points out that large-scale use of chopped up plant material (biomass) to create electricity and heat is not widespread. Interestingly, Brazilian ethanol derived from sugarcane is often argued to have an attractive energy balance because the left over plant material is used to fuel the energy-hungry distillation process. (more…)

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