A group of Taiwanese scientists has developed a project that obtains ethanol from rice straw. The project, successful in the laboratory, will move to a test plant by the end of 2009.

Ethanol produced from rice straw is 99.5 percent pure, and does not compete with edible feedtsocks such as corn and wheat. According to Wang Chia-bao, the project's leader, "The straw is a secondary product, does not affect food supply and it will help our farmers' economy".

The only drawback of this process is its elevated price, currently estimated at $0.67 per liter, although Wang said that this amount could be cut in half in the near future.

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[Source: Agroinformación]

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