Undergraduate Research in Agricultural Economics


Date of this Version

June 2008


What is the best biomass source and conversion process to create the biofuels to power our country in the future? Specifically, is cellulosic ethanol capable of becoming a viable biofuel? To answer these questions, the processes used to convert biomass into fuel, as well as the biomass itself, were examined on a molecular level, focusing on the chemistry behind the reactions. After that, developing technologies were examined to determine their potential. Lastly, alternative biomass sources were examined. Given recent mandates and developing technologies, the United States is capable of developing a thriving cellulosic ethanol industry. In addition, algae has shown potential as an environmentally friendly biomass source and the hybrid hydrogen-carbon conversion process is promising. However, each facet of biofuels production warrants more research in order to discover the ultimate solution to our energy woes.