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Just the other day I mentioned that some investors don't see long-term growth possibilities in the ethanol industry because the laws of nature say you can only get so much alcohol out of any given amount of carbohydrates. Since all ethanol producers face this same issue, no single company will break out of the pack and deliver whopping returns to investors. Now here comes news about a biotech startup company in Japan has set out to, in effect, prove that investment analysis wrong.

While a lot of biofuel legislation worldwide focuses on making a small percentage of the fuel sold in each locality be made up of biofuel, Japan decided in early June to turn the equation around. The Asahi Shimbun reported June 12 that Japan's Environment Ministry would push to make all vehicles (not just new ones) in Japan able to use E10 by 2030. The new legislation will require all new vehicles to be E10 compatible by 2012, with the goal of having all vehicles on the road E10 compatible eight

Ever since the dawn of the Industrial Age, Japan has had to import oil, and Japan was hit hard by the 1973 Oil Crisis. Even though the renewable fuel market is growing worldwide, Japan is not any more energy independent because it has limited farmland on which to grow fuel crops. To secure a steady supply of ethanol, Japan and Brazil announced early this month that they will sign a pact in October for Brazil to import the biofuel to Japan. Japan has invested $1.29 billion in Brazil to produce et