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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, May 25, 2024

Letter to the Editor: Realistic petroleum substitute exists, coming to Madison

I found Ryan Dashek's article on Monday, Feb. 11 interesting, but I think he misrepresented the issue. Under current production methods, biofuel may seem like a poor substitute for petroleum, but there is a promising new method for production of ethanol that will potentially change this perception. 


Several companies have been experimenting with a new method that uses bacteria to convert all sorts of crop waste into ethanol for a mere $1 per gallon. Referred to as Microbial Fuel Cell technology, this method offers a great deal of promise. Coskata, Co., based out of Warrenville, Ill., has built up so much support that General Motors, Co. has purchased an equity stake in MFC. 


While this method of creating ethanol is still in the research phase, it could be quite promising for a future renewable fuel source. 


There will also be a new research facility opening up here in Madison that will specifically research this process of creating ethanol. The promising potential of this process could very well revitalize the possibility of using biofuel in the future. 


- Peter Berman 

UW-Madison graduate student 

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