It's more than garbage. It's fuel for your car.
Or: It could be, according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Energy's research lab.
The report, "Biofuels in Oregon and Washington: A Business Case Analysis of Opportunities and Challenges," assessed whether local crops could adequately feed the region's emerging ethanol and biodiesel industries. Right now, corn and soybeans from the Midwest and canola and used vegetable oils from the Northwest feed the region's plants.
The researchers looked at the potential of oil-seed crops such as canola, as well as timber waste. But they concluded that they couldn't be produced in sufficient quantities or for acceptable prices.
So, researchers stepped back for a wider view, and almost by accident, stumbled upon the vast potential of landfill waste -- food scraps, paper, even plastics. [Read full article]
By Gail Kinsey Hill,
The Oregonian - March 17, 2008