UK Government Commits to 80% GHG Cut by 2050
Study Finds That Aggressive Combination of Land Use, Enhanced Transit and Travel Pricing Show a Median 14.5% Reduction in Vehicle Kilometers Traveled for 10 Year Time Horizon

Clemson University to Lead $1.2M Cellulosic Ethanol Project

Clemson University will lead a $1.2 million bioethanol research project to find the best way to produce plant-based fuels in South Carolina and the region. The US Department of Energy awarded the grant to Clemson, which will collaborate with DOE’s Savannah River National Laboratory in Aiken.

The purpose of the grant is to assess the potential of switchgrass and sweet sorghum as feedstocks. The grant also will fund development of a small-scale biofuel processing plant at Clemson University’s Restoration Institute in North Charleston.

The pilot plant is designed to scale up new biofuel technologies, a crucial step between small laboratory experiments and full-scale production. The facility could assist energy producers interested in energy-crop bases in the Southeast to build regional ethanol-production facilities.

In 2007, the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), Clemson University, South Carolina State University/James E. Clyburn University Transportation Center, and SC Bio (a not-for-profit organization that works to develop new life science companies) formed the South Carolina Bioenergy Research Collaborative to demonstrate the economic feasibility of using cellulosic biomass from regional plants, such as switchgrass, short-rotation trees and sorghum, to make ethanol.

The research collaborative has expanded to include key industrial partners: Fagen Inc., a designer and builder of ethanol plants; Dyadic International Inc., a biotechnology company developing novel enzymes for breaking down cellulose (earlier post); and Spinx Corp., a distributors of biodiesel and ethanol gasoline blends in the South.


Henry Gibson

There is not enough land area and water for any kind of plant source biofuel to make a real difference in the US fuel situation. However, no carbon containing materials should go into landfils.

Italian researchers have developed a new process for gas from coal this can also be applied to any kind of biomass as well. Methanol can be produced from the gas and stored until it is needed to make gasoline or used directly. Except for its lower energy density, methanol is a superior fuel to gasoline. ..HG..

There should be an initial requirement that any new car sold in the US is made to accept methanol and ethanol in its tanks, pumps, injectors and pipes. The computer should be able to be set to run on methanol.

Terry Walker

Not sure where people get their info from - probably the internet without refereed sources as usual. Biomass is expected to make up nearly 1/4 of the world's energy and will be an integral part of the mix of a renewable energy portfolio. Coal is not renewable and will only put more carbon in the air that is not supposed to be there creating the catastrophic effects that we are already witnessing (warming of the poles, rapidly increasing rates of extinction of species, etc., etc.) - over 1,000 refereed sources show this. We have to get out of 19th and 20th century thinking and move to the future. Humans were always powered by renewable energy until about 1850 and they always will be in the future unless we make the planet uninhabitable, which is the way we are presently going by building more coal plants worldwide, proposing the myth of "clean" coal, and now coal to gas, while trying to defer the required transfer back to renewables within the next decade. Coal is a very bad idea and we need to ween ourselves off of this source as fast as off of the declining oil reserves for national, world and climate security.

The comments to this entry are closed.