Wheat straw is the next target for ethanol biomass for some researchers (behind some of our other quirky favorites like watermelon
and poplar trees
) and it appears to be economical. Researchers at North Dakota State University, collaborating with a team in Lansing, Michigan, figured out
that if gasoline costs $1.80 a gallon at the pump (remember those prices, way back in 2005?), then a wheat straw plant that makes 50 million gallons a year would turn a profit, give 77 people jobs and contribute $50 million to a state's economy. NDSU economist Larry Leistritz and his research team are now asking for more grant money to conduct more studies, with the final goal being an investment prospectus and designs for an ethanol plant. All right, but don't they have enough convincing data to convince ethanol investors to go ahead already?
[Source: USAG Net]