July 25, 2008

Scientists Work on Garbage for Gas

U.S. companies are racing to bring gasoline made from wood chips, garbage, crop waste and other materials to market.

The U.S. government is offering grants and subsidies to get the plants started in an effort to meet a mandated 36 billion gallons of biofuels a year by 2022, The New York Times said Thursday. Plans for about 28 different plants are in various stages of development.

KL Process Design Group in Wyoming may be the first to reach the commercial market, the newspaper said. The company is in test production at a small plant that will use pine wastes to make motor fuel. The company hopes to begin commercial sales of ethanol by the end of the year.

Fulcrum BioEnergy announced last week it plans to build a $120 million plant near Reno, Nev., to make ethanol from garbage. The plant, which would use 90,000 tons of garbage to make 10.5 million gallons of ethanol a year, would begin operation in 2010.