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interview > lynd > lynd 7

Lynd 7 (1:22)
Topic(s): Biofuels
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Lynd

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But as far as uses for ethanol, the number keeps rising but we're producing on the order of 4 billion gallons of ethanol now in the United States, essentially— which is about as much as produced as in Brazil. But since Brazil's total fuel usage is much smaller, it's a much higher percentage in Brazil. Our 4 billion gallons of ethanol is a little less than 3 billion gallons of gasoline equivalent, because the energy content's not quite the same. Total gasoline usage in the United States is about 140 billion gallons. So it's on the order of a couple of percent.

And that all comes from corn, essentially, so it comes from part of the— It comes from seed material. I mean, from a biological point of view, the starch in the corn is what the plant stores so that the next year's corn plants can–can grow, and so that the seed can viably make it through the winter. That's quite different than cellulosic biomass, where the biological function is to hold up the plant. In essence it's— The cellulosic biomass is the truss-work for the plant's solar collector, which are the actual leaves. So different biological function and many different properties, both from a conversion point of view but also from a— in terms of plugging these fuel production cycles into society, the raw material makes a great difference.

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