The world’s first commercially available cellulosic ethanol is available at a gas station in Nepean, near Ottawa. It is a 90% gasoline/10% ethanol blend and will only be available for one month. Unlike naughty corn-based ethanol, this type is made from corn husks, corn stalks and straw, all of which would otherwise be discarded, left in the fields or used for animal bedding. Iogen, the company that makes the product, has a “demonstration plant” and is planning a full-size plant that could produce 700 million liters (185 million gallons) a year.
This is good because the greenhouse gas impacts seem to be significantly less than corn-based ethanol (and gasoline of course) but also bad because many animals may not have a place to sleep. Anyone know of any studies of how much waste biomass there actually is out there to be had? In other words, what is the potential to scale up cellulosic ethanol to actually replace any significant portion of our fossil fuels?