Sunday, May 07, 2006
Courtney and I attended the Carnegie Evening lecture on Thursday night at the Carnegie Institution. It was fantastic. Christopher Somerville spoke all night about meeting our energy needs with biofuels. He wasn't so into the biodiesel that is now being marketed, but instead feels that in the next few years advances in the process of converting cellulose into liquid fuel will allow a conversion to biofuels. He suggested that Miscanthus, a tall perrenial grass, could be largely grown to convert into liquid fuel. The benefit of using grasses to make fuel, of course, is that it is carbon neutral. In the case of petroleum, we are taking carbon from the ground and putting it into the air. However, with Miscanthus, to be grown it has to take carbon from the air, so we don't release any more carbon than is already out there.