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If you thought last year was a bad one at the gas pump, it could've been worse. That's what one report partially funded by ethanol advocate Renewable Fuels Association says.

Polystyrene is pretty much an environmentalist's nightmare. It's difficult to recycle in most areas and does not biodegrade if simply thrown away. But, because the stuff is so incredibly useful, it is produced and used in tremendous quantities. There's good news for biodiesel fans who want to reduce the amount of polystyrene in the environment and want to get a bit more kick out of their biofuel.

Many folks have heard about ethanol but aren't intimately familiar with the alternative fuel. This link leads to a Q&A wrap-up of a webcast from the Iowa State University Extension office. Ethanol conversion rate, market price structure, rotating between crops and other interesting information about the effects of ethanol production are discussed.

Jacek Koziel and Hans van Leeuwen, professors at Iowa State University, are looking to put a new put a new twist on the notion of drinking and driving. The duo has a $79,000 grant from the state-run Grow Iowa Values Fund to develop a cheap process of turning ethanol developed for fuel into a food-grade alcohol which can be used in beverages, pharmaceuticals and personal care products.

Cellulose ethanol is one step closer. Ethanol can now be somewhat easily made from corn fibers, thanks to a process that uses mold and was discovered at Iowa State and announced last week. The fibers, created when producer make corn syrup, are often turned into animal feed. If they The discovery could boost ethanol production by about 4 percent (160 million gallons) a year, said Hans van Leeuwen, an Iowa State professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering in a press release.