UF Pilot Plant Finds Alternative Energy Source
With record-high gas prices comes the search for a fuel replacement, and it may start with the most common crop of all.
The University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences celebrated their cellulosic ethanol pilot plant Friday. Microbiologist Dr. Lonnie Ingram led a team of researchers in converting more than just corn into fuel. Dr. Ingram said the process is more complex, but it uses things like tree fibers and orange peels, in addition to corn, to make fuel.
The success of the ethanol pilot plant, which is funded by $4.5 million from the state, will serve the greater purpose of weening Americans off of foreign sources of fossil fuels.
Congressman Cliff Stearns, supporter of UF's pilot plant, said the ethanol will make it possible to increase fuel efficiency.
"This burns so cleanly we have no emissions so it's a really 2-fold success," Congressman Steams said.
Researchers on the project said the next step is to find valuable uses for all organic waste from the fuel conversion process.
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