Cellulosic Ethanol Five Years Away, Says Bodman

Despite the research, the Energy Department estimates that it still costs $2.20 a gallon to produce cellulosic ethanol, double the cost of making ethanol from corn.

Published: 08-Sep-2006

Washington, D.C. — Distilleries that can make fuel alcohol from crop waste, prairie grasses or trees rather than corn should be in operation within five years, says Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman.

Bodman said his department expects to issue loan guarantees next year for the first such projects. Construction will take an additional two to three years, he said Thursday.

"I'll say five years, giving myself a little flexibility on it, but potentially faster than five years," he said, answering questions at a press briefing with Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns.

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