interview > lynd > lynd 10
Lynd 10 (1:24)
Topic(s): Biofuels / Future Transport
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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.