Grass Makes Gas

Cindy Zimmerman

World Energy Pub The World Energy Monthly Review, which “offers a no-holds-barred perspective, timely information and in-depth analysis on energy issues,” according to the publication’s Business Wire press release, takes a look at using switchgrass to make ethanol in its March issue. Author Brian K. Tully compares switchgrass as an ethanol source to both corn and sugar cane and says “it looks like not only a contender, but a winner.” Per acre, corn yields 330 gallons of ethanol, sugar yields 630 gallons and switchgrass 1,150 gallons. “Purely in terms of a fuel feedstock, one would be hard-pressed to find a tougher, faster-growing native plant that requires such relatively low maintenance,” Tully writes.
However, another article in the same issue says the cost of converting switchgrass to ethanol is three to five times the cost of converting corn, but scientists think that can be lowered.
But wait … what sounds most interesting in this issue is “San Francisco’s collection of a unique fuel source: dog poop.” Well, if we can use cow poop or pig poop – why not dog poo? It stands to reason then that ANY source of poo could be used to make fuel…. the possibilities are endless. So, why are we even thinking of growing anything to make fuel? We could be flushing away millions of gallons every day!

Ethanol, Miscellaneous