interview > greene > greene 6
Greene 6 (1:35)
Topic(s): Biofuels / Future Transport
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We now consume about 6 billion gallons—I should
probably check the number, but I think it's about 6 billion gallons of
ethanol every year, which is of course biofuel and there's much talk
about increasing the amount of biofuel dramatically. But in my own view,
there's no sense in doing that unless we get away from corn-based
ethanol, and we produce our ethanol from forest residues and crop residues and
other cellulosic material that should be cheaper and should be more efficient
and produce much less greenhouse gases than corn-based ethanol. So if we can do
that, we have already the technology for using ethanol in vehicles.
We may decide that ethanol is not the best fuel to make
out of biomass. There're other options. And some of these options have
better properties, better energy density, but the process for producing them is
not yet commercial. So I think we'll need to find better ways of making
fuel out of biomass than we have now. And then biomass can become a more
significant source of energy. But there—it's impossible
essentially to fuel the transportation system entirely with biomass.
There's simply not enough of it, and we need a lot of it for food. So
that's not going to be the solution, but it's going to be part of
the solution, I think.
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Created April 2008