A professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology claims to have developed a catalyst that can cut the cost of making non-food based cellulosic ethanol — “celluline,” as I like to call it — by 30%.
Just for grits and shiggles, let’s say that when celluline’s finally produced in commercial amounts it will cost consumers $3.00 per gallon. If the cost savings associated with this catalyst were passed on to consumers, that would mean the same celluline would cost $2.10 per gallon.
Professor Michikazu Hara says the carbon-based catalyst can be made cheaply, and works by breaking down cellulose and creating sugar when mixed with water and heated to 100° C. Using the current celluline production methods, this step in the process uses a large amount of energy, time and chemicals.
If professor Hara has accomplished what he claims, this would mark a major development in second generation ethanol production.
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