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Wisconsin Changing Directions of Biofuel

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports about the new generation of biofuels that Wisconsin seeks to develop to reduce carbon emissions.

Ethanol which has been praised by many as the next big alternative fuel, has considerable opponents as it doesn't eliminate a high amount of greenhouse emissions as it takes a great deal of petroleum to produce it.

Therefore Madison researchers as well as northern Wisconsin papermakers have begun to research the possibility of alternative fuels made from wood chips to switchgrass.

Interest in next-generation ethanol, known as cellulosic ethanol, is percolating because of the federal government's goal to produce 35 billion gallons of alternative fuels by 2017, said Masood Akhtar, president of the nonprofit consulting firm CleanTech Partners Inc. in Middleton. The energy bill in Congress is aiming for 36 billion gallons by 2022. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel )

Meanwhile, laboratories at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are getting rolling on scientific research to more easily break down the sugars in cornstalks and other plants. Earlier this year, UW received a $125 million award to establish its first federal research center in nearly a century, the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel )