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E3 BioFuels will open its closed-loop ethanol plant at the end of this month in Nebraska. Closed-loop, in this instance, means that the company is technically able to make ethanol without using any fossil fuels. The idea is that by placing a large cattle feedlot next to an ethanol plant (with an anaerobic digester in between), you can use the cow manure to make biogas and burn the biogas to power the ethanol-making machines. The leftover wet grain from the ethanol plant is then fed to the cows.

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All right, one more preview of the President's State of the Union speech before the thing actually happens. Yahoo is saying that the Decider is going to ask American's to "slash gasoline consumption by up to 20 percent by 2017." The two main ways this will happen is through increased ethanol use and higher fuel economy standards for passenger cars. Looks like I might get one thing I asked for a few weeks ago.

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The other day, in the comments to my post about wheat straw being used to make ethanol in North Dakota, frequent AutoblogGreen commenter Howard Lee Harkness wrote, "When I see an ethanol production plant that uses no fossil fuel at all, then I'll believe it's cost-effective. That, by the way, is not something I expect to see in my lifetime." Well, Howard, I hope you're still alive.

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