[LMB] Butter Bugs! Well, almost....

Ed Burkhead ed at edburkhead.com
Thu Jun 26 22:50:33 BST 2008


Suey asked:
> . . . could
> someone explain to me why we can't grown cereals take the grain bit
> off and use it for fuel and then use the rest of the plant for bio
> fuel. Is it just as simple as there's not enough energy in the stalks
> and leaves?

We can make ethanol from the grain easily because the grain is mostly
starch.  Yeasts are very good at turning starch into ethanol.

Most of the rest of the plant is cellulose.  They're working on getting
ethanol from cellulose in industrial quantities and expect success fairly
soon.

Suey asked:
> SORRY - that should have said take the grain bit and use it for FOOD

When they make ethanol from grain, there's a mash left over that can be fed
to cattle.  If I recall correctly it still provides about 2/3rds of the
amount of food value to the cattle as it would have fed directly.

Ed





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