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Renewable Motor Fuels by Arthur M. Brownstein

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Chapter 2

Ethanol by Classical Fermentation

United States and Brazil

The Renewable Fuels Standard focused on the classical production of ethanol by fermentation of cornstarch. This was driven by its long commercial history and its ready availability as a renewable resource that could reduce dependence on fossil fuels. It also sizably produced less greenhouse gases when burned. The dry milling process is commonly used in the fermentation of cornstarch. Production of fuel grade ethanol soared from 2.1 to 13.9 billion gallons from 2002 to 2011, a nearly sevenfold increase. The competing demands for food and fuel drove corn prices from $2.78 to $7.25 per bushel in mid-2012. This encouraged the development of waste cellulose as an alternate to cornstarch. ...

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