January 31, 2013 10:05:51 AM
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Ethanol producers have talked for decades about using plant residue, wood scraps and even garbage to produce the fuel additive, but now companies finally are building full-scale refineries.
About 70 cellulosic ethanol projects are under way, reflecting billions of dollars of private investment.
The breakthrough comes at a key time, after the drought heightened criticism about the vast amount of corn used to brew up ethanol rather than be used for animal feed or other foods. Drought left the corn crop smaller than expected, and livestock groups blamed ethanol producers for soaring corn prices that hurt their profits.
The push for more ethanol production comes amid federal requirements that the petroleum industry mix 36 billion gallons of the additive into the nation's fuel supply by 2022.
1. Starkville moms embark on project that looks through the lens of autism STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
2. CPD investigates northside shooting COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
3. Former CIA operative urges citizen engagement COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
4. After nearly disappearing, local meth arrests make comeback COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. One killed, one severely injured in house fire COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY