Car of the Future Open Content Car of the Future Open Content Watch the Program Online

interview > lynd > lynd 10

Lynd 10 (1:24)
Topic(s): Biofuels / Future Transport
User Comments


© WGBH Educational Foundation

Please watch the clip first. If you plan to use it, review the Rules of Use, then click on the download button.


This clip is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.

Creative Commons license: BY-NC

Video Transcript

Corn has brought us a long way. And everybody who's interested in doing cellulosic biomass acknowledges that it would be much more difficult to do cellulosic biomass to ethanol were it— if corn ethanol were not here. That said, the most optimistic estimates I've heard for how much corn ethanol could be produced, are somewhere in the 10 to 20 billion gallons of ethanol range, which you'd multiply by about two-thirds to get gasoline equivalent. So in round numbers, less than 10% of current gasoline production.

Now, that can be a very important industry from many points of view, including rural communities. But it amounts to about the amount of growth in gasoline consumption over, say, the last, I don't know, five to eight years. And so if we're really looking for large, large-scale solutions—and I hasten to say that we need to broaden our search for those, not only to include supply technologies like ethanol, but also technologies that relate to how efficiently we utilize energy sources of all kinds—if we're really looking for large-scale solutions, few people offer unlimited— few if anyone, frankly—offers unlimited corn production as, for example, how we might produce, let's say, 50 billion gallons of gasoline equivalent, which starts to be a significant mark; it starts to approach the level of oil imports currently.



Topic | Interview | Scene

Car of the Future Home | Send Feedback | Image Credits | Support NOVA

© | Created April 2008

Support provided by

For new content
visit the redesigned
NOVA site