State of Florida gives out grant to develop cellulosic ethanol from sugarcane

The State of Florida handed out $15 million in grants for a variety of biofuel projects resulting from the 2006 Florida Energy Act. Two thirds of that went to a variety of fuel and energy production projects, such as ethanol production facilities. The rest went to several research projects including a new cellulosic ethanol program that got almost $1 million.

This particular project will examine the feasibility of producing ethanol from sugarcane bagasse. The bagasse is the residual material left after crushing the cane to get the juice. This is distinct difference from the way cane is typically used to produce ethanol. This cellulosic material could potentially yield a lot of ethanol if it could be used as a fuel feedstock. The cellulose would be broken down into sugars through the use of enzymes. the research team will test a variety of thermo-chemical and thermo-mechanical processes for pre-treating the bagasse and then conducting a pilot project for the full system.

[Source: Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services via GreenCarCongress]

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