Biofuels Make a Comeback

In place of ethanol production largely judged to be harmful to the environment and automobile engines, new producers are making hydrocarbon fuel from cellulose.

"Make something people want to buy at a price they can afford. Hardly a revolutionary business strategy, but one that the American biofuels industry has, to date, eschewed. Now a new wave of companies think that they have the technology to change the game and make unsubsidised profits. If they can do so reliably, and on a large scale, biofuels may have a lot more success in freeing the world from fossil fuels than they have had until now. ... Instead of ethanol, [today's biofuel producers] plan to make hydrocarbons, molecules chemically much more similar to those that already power planes, trains and automobiles."