Alternative Energy Innovations Will Lower Gas Bills
October 30th 2005
Ethanol may lower
The history occurring in recent
patent applications reveals more efficient production of Ethanol
from Biomass using transgenomics.
Ethanol production requires nearly complete hydrolysis. Most of the
commercial applications for cellulase enzymes represent higher value
markets than the fuel market. For this reason, enzymatic hydrolysis
of biomass to ethanol remains non-competitive.
Now, to degrade the cellulose in the
lignocellulose complexes, the lignin must first be degraded. While
lignin can be removed in chemi-mechanical processes, the chemi-mechanical
processes are inefficient. Ligninase and cellulase enzymes, which
are produced by various microorganisms, have been used to convert
the lignins and cellulose, respectively, in plant biomass to
fermentable sugars. However, the cost for these enzymes is
An attractive means for reducing the cost of degrading plant biomass
is to make transgenic plants that contain cellulases.
Corn is a preferred plant because
it is a major crop in the United States.
In summary, we live at a unique moment in history when innovative
processes utilizing transgenomics are being developed at a recently
accelerated rate. And, I predict that these technological advances
along various steps of the corn breakdown stage from biomass to
lignocellulose to pentose sugars to (the zymomonas-mobilis step) to
the 2-carbon alcohol will soon yield lower cost Ethanol. If cars are
tuned to run on a blend of 50% gasoline and 50% ethanol, gas bills
will come down.
Bud is a physician, software developer and Purdue
University MBA business graduate. Contact
Books on Alternative Energy
Keywords and misspellings: ethonol alternative