January 24, 2007 |
President Bush's goal of boosting production of renewable and alternative fuel to 35 billion gallons in 2017 from 5 billion last year poses a huge challenge to the biofuels industry. "That's an astonishing number," John Raineri, who leads DuPont Co.'s effort to boost biofuel production, said in an interview yesterday. Today, Bush is scheduled to visit DuPont's Experimental Station near Wilmington to bring attention to that research. The only way to achieve the president's goal, Raineri said, is through cellulosic ethanol, which uses cornstalks, wood chips, and other nonfood materials instead of corn kernels.
June 8, 2006 |
Rising energy prices are pushing up inflation and increasingly threatening the U.S. economy, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan testified yesterday. He called for quickly developing alternative energy sources, such as ethanol and liquefied natural gas. In his first appearance on Capitol Hill since he ended his nearly 19-year Fed tenure Jan. 31, Greenspan testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that America had better reduce its dependence on foreign oil or suffer damaging economic consequences.
August 27, 2006 |
The stony, hillside fields of Thomas Stickle's farm here in Western Pennsylvania bear an unusual crop: a tall grass meant to feed not animals, but cars. Stickle, who once farmed more than 1,000 acres of corn and other row crops, and government scientists are studying how to get the most out of his switchgrass as a renewable fuel - while creating wildlife habitat and conserving soil. "I'm trying to come up with the appropriate balance," said Stickle, who tracks the impact of harvesting his 200 acres of perennial switchgrass - grown without fertilizer and pesticides - at different times of the year and at various intervals.
April 15, 2009 |
A little more than a year ago, Gov. Rendell celebrated the groundbreaking of the first ethanol plant in Pennsylvania. That was before the recession deepened, gasoline prices rode a roller coaster, credit tightened, and most industries were shuttering plants and laying off workers. Now, after all the economic calamity, construction is continuing on BioEnergy International's new plant in the central Pennsylvania community of Clearfield. When the $270 million facility opens in January, it will be capable of producing 108 million gallons of corn-based ethanol and an additional 15 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol, which is produced from plant matter such as wood pulp and agricultural wastes.
March 1, 2007 |
DuPont Co. is part of a partnership selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to receive up to $80 million for the construction of an ethanol plant that will use not just the corn kernel, but also the cob, to make fuel. The DuPont project is one of six - out of about 75 applications - chosen for a total of $385 million in federal funding over four years, the Energy Department said yesterday. Congress must still approve funding for the program. Support for the projects is part of a push to meet President Bush's goal of increasing the use of renewable and alternative transportation fuels to the equivalent of 35 billion gallons of ethanol in 10 years.
September 13, 2007 |
As oil prices hit record highs near $80 a barrel, former CIA Director R. James Woolsey was in Philadelphia yesterday to lend support to Gov. Rendell's goal of producing a billion gallons a year of ethanol and other biofuels in Pennsylvania within the next decade. Woolsey, a longtime advocate of alternative fuels who now is a consultant in the field, said developing competition for petroleum-based transportation fuels would be crucial if the United States wanted to maintain its strategic independence.
January 25, 2007
Dependence on foreign oil jeopardizes U.S. security, President Bush instructed an audience in Wilmington, Del., yesterday during a quick stop to promote energy policies unveiled in his State of the Union. The country should invest in alternatives to gasoline, he said, particularly cellulosic ethanol, made from sawgrass, wood chips and corn stalks, and being researched by the DuPont plant he visited. But the country needs more fuel-efficient vehicles, through higher mileage standards for new cars, or those biofuels will just be wasted, as gasoline is today.
June 25, 2007
The Senate has decided that U.S. auto fuel standards should finally catch up with the rest of the developed world. "Now in our vehicles, we have better cupholders; we have keyless entry; we have better music systems; we have heated seats," said Sen. Byron Dorgan (D., N.D.). "It is time that we expect more automobile efficiency. " Long past time. U.S. car efficiency standards have stagnated at 27.5 miles per gallon since the 1980s. SUVs and small trucks saw a slight increase to 22.2 m.p.g.
May 28, 2006
The United States is a dependent nation. It's dependent on volatile, overseas countries to provide 58 percent of its oil. And it's dependent on too many tired ideas to alter that imbalance. Just Thursday, the House of Representatives dabbled with America's oil addiction by voting for the 12th time to drill in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Opening the refuge would provide less than a year's worth of oil - 10 years from now. It's no solution. The United States consumes 25 percent of the world's oil but has less than 3 percent of its reserves.
February 23, 2009 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Deftly using a pair of tweezers, Scott Geib pulls apart the insides of a yellowish, wormlike critter - the larva of a tree-devouring pest called the Asian long-horned beetle. Something in the insect's gut allows it to make short work of wood, but what? In a greenhouse several hundred yards away, some of Geib's Pennsylvania State University colleagues are growing rows and rows of designer poplar trees. The slender plants have been genetically tweaked so that their woody fabric has a weak link, allowing better access to the energy-rich sugars inside.