BioConversion Blogger

I have gotten two comments in the past week from this gentleman – C. Scott Miller of Studio City, CA – who is the author of the BioConversion Blog. Top of the blog is a definition of bioconversion and description of his blog:
BioConversion, n., The conversion of organic materials, such as plant or animal waste, into usable products or energy sources by biological processes or agents, such as certain microorganisms. This Blog is home to news and comments about emerging BioEnergy technologies as the fossil fuel energy paradigm shifts to renewable energy. There are also direct links to information sites and breaking stories culled from major publications, other blogs, and associations.
I would call Scott a “bioconversion evangelist” – preaching the gospel of using waste products to make biofuels. This was his comment related to my posts yesterday about ethanol and world hunger.
The ultimate feedstock for ethanol will not be food crops. Instead, it will be agricultural, forestry, and urban waste – which will have no impact on world hunger other than to help societies build renewable fuel plants to get rid of their wastes and produce surplus liquid and electric energy. I invite you to read up on “Cellulosic ethanol” from Wikipedia and my BioConversion Blog – particularly word searches on syngas fermentation and BRI Energy.
Cellulosic ethanol is definitely getting to be the new buzz phrase in the industry. However, the way I see it, we need to develop a means of efficiently collecting and utilizing waste products first. Take corn stalks and such, for example. It’s just not as easy at the moment to harvest the waste and get it to a facility to make it into fuel, as it is to do the same for corn, soybeans, sugar, sorghum and other food/feed crops. So, I guess I see the crops paving the road for the use of waste products in the future. Does that make sense?

2 thoughts on “BioConversion Blogger

  1. I wholeheartedly agree. Beyond being credited for establishing the existing ethanol infrastructure for the U.S., our wonderfully innovative agricultural community should be able to use new syngas fermentation technology to convert switchgrass, other crops, rice straw, blighted harvests, etc. in addition to corn stover or sugar fermentation waste that is not recyclable as other products. I am not a farmer (although I spent two wonderful years in Nebraska) but I think bioconversion technologies could be a boon to all geographic areas of the country. At least we would have renewable energy enough to break our dependence on fossil fuels.

  2. C. Scott:

    You must solve the Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROEI) challenge to succeed. So far, nobody has succeeded: tar sands, shale oil, ethanol, bio-fuel, and others are falling by the wayside for reasons other than the low cost of oil today.

    Please don’t say that America can become energy independent because it can’t – EVER!

    C. Paul .