Zach Miller (zarfmouse) wrote,
Zach Miller

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Bush says One Good Thing.

Those looking for my brief minor thoughts about the state of the union address can find them here in bdar's journal. I'll quote the positive part and leave the snarkiness and anger sitting over there.
Out of the whole 51 minutes he spent about one sentence saying something that I liked. He talked about making ethanol from grass and other non-starchy biomass. My hope is that that means he's going to pour more funding into cellulase research, research which would help us mass-produce the currently expensive enzyme which would let us ferment cellulose into ethanol. The department of energy currently estimates that cellulase adds $.50/gallon to the cost of ethanol made from non-starchy materials but predicts that further research can get that cost down to $.05 in the forseeable future.

Imagine instead of harvesting corn and only being able to turn it's sugars into fuel and ending up with a stalky mashy waste biomass, instead turning the whole plant into fuel, turning discarded paper and cardboard into fuel, turning any kind of pulpy biomass into fuel. That'd be huge. I think cheap cellulase has got to be a major component to any sane short term energy strategy.
Time to get back to work.

Oh, in wildly unrelated news, here's a followup to the whole Firefly Season 2 thing. Basically nothing has changed except that now a well known website has actually talked to the involved parties to confirm things. Some random dude who heads up a microscopic studio thinks he can make it happen but hasn't actually even talked to Joss yet.
Tags: bush, ethanol, permaculture, politics, state of the union
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