When the newest report from The Farm Foundation on rising food prices was released late last month, the topic of conversation among the study’s authors and a University of Nebraska public policy analyst shifted to cellulosic ethanol. The new generation of ethanol is being touted as the answer to the issues that come up when food—such as corn—is used for fuel.
And at least one state is driving demand for the new kind of ethanol—Pennsylvania became the first in the nation with a state-specific cellulosic ethanol mandate, according to Gov. Ed Rendell’s office.
Cellulosic ethanol, which can be made from corn stover, switchgrass, miscanthus and woodchips, would not compete with the country’s food supply, experts say.