District 6 Race
"Converting cellulosic materials into automotive fuels offers an opportunity to replace 30-50% of the total automotive fuel needs," said UF Microbiology Professor Lonnie Ingram.
The process to turn corn into ethanol is a 3 step process: cooking, fermenting and then purifying. However, for now, cellulosic biomass is a lot more complicated with a lot of extra steps. So, UF researchers are looking to simplify the process and take out some of the steps.
Stearns says the federal government has set aside money to help, and there's enough biomass possibilities in Florida to make the state independent of foreign oil.
"We're able to develop our sustainable energy here in the state of Florida just through a lot of things that we grow, and things that we dispose of in our waste areas," said Stearns.
Tim Cunha is running as the democratic challenger in District 6. He says when it comes to energy, the Sunshine State needs to live up to its name by developing solar power.
"I would like to see a private/government/academic coalition based at the University of Florida that would be a world leader in solar production as well as alternative methods of energy," said Cunha.
Ingram says a plant producing 40 million gallons of ethanol would cost about 100 million dollars. He forsees the state could have 200 such plants in the future.
UF's biofuel power plant is less than a month from completion. The state pitched in two and a half million dollars and the federal government chipped in another million.
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