Researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology have come up with a cheaper way to make ethanol from rice straw and other waste materials … cheaper by 30%.
A professor at the university’s Materials and Structures Laboratory has developed a catalyst that will break down plant-based materials resulting in a more efficient production of sugar. This sugar product is then mixed with water and heated to 100C (boiling the water away?).
More confusion on my part –
“The catalyst consists of a carbon material with multiple molecules attached to its surface. These molecules dramatically speed up the decomposition of plant cellulose, making ethanol production much more efficient.”
The bottom line – the catalyst can be made more cheaply making production of ethanol from non-food crops more cost-effective or about equal to what it costs to produce the bioethanol from corn and other foods.
If ethanol can be produced from non-food products, there will no increased food costs and adverse affects to third world countries, too. No?
Go, Tokyo, Go!