[Roland Piquepaille]: Making diesel-like liquid from carbohydrates found in plants has been done before by fermenting glucose into ethanol added to gasoline. But this process was inefficient and expensive because the ethanol needed to be separated from water at the end of the fermentation process. Now, a team of chemists at University of Wisconsin-Madison has found a new way to create green diesel from plants which avoids this costly separating phase.
Still developmental, but interesting. This in particular caught my eye:
According to the University, this process is very energy-efficient compared with the production of ethanol.
About 67 percent of the energy required to make ethanol is consumed in fermenting and distilling corn. As a result, ethanol production creates 1.1 units of energy for every unit of energy consumed. In the UW-Madison process, the desired alkanes spontaneously separate from water. No additional heating or distillation is required. The result is the creation of 2.2 units of energy for every unit of energy consumed in energy production.