Houston Matters

How Might Biofuels Reduce Our Dependence on Fossil Fuels?

Each Tuesday of this month Houston Matters has been exploring efforts here in Greater Houston to pursue alternative, renewable forms of energy, those that might someday helpÂus toÂdramatically reduce carbon emissions. In past weeks, we discussed solar energy, hydrogen, and wind power. On this edition we talk about developments in biofuels, including ethanol. The corn-based […]

Each Tuesday of this month Houston Matters has been exploring efforts here in Greater Houston to pursue alternative, renewable forms of energy, those that might someday helpÂus toÂdramatically reduce carbon emissions.

In past weeks, we discussed solar energy, hydrogen, and wind power. On this edition we talk about developments in biofuels, including ethanol.

The corn-based fuel ethanol has been a part of the gas we use in our cars for years now – it’s long been seen as politically expedient to support, because it sounds clean – deriving fuel from corn, of which we have an abundance here in the US. But just how clean is it? What energy is expended to produce it? And what about other biofuels? We hear stories of people who use leftover grease from fast food restaurants to power their retrofitted cars. Could something like that ever work on a larger scale? We’re hearing a lot these days about a potential resurgence of diesel – is biodiesel an option to reduce our carbon footprint? And can you really derive energy from algae? Really?

We discuss these and other examples of biofuels, and what’s beingÂresearched, developed, and implemented here in Greater Houston, with Ken Brown ofÂBiofuels Power CorpÂandÂRoman Wolff fromÂEnhanced Biofuels. Then, we welcome your questions for Dr. Daniel Kainer, Professor and the Director of theÂLone Star College Biotechnology Institute.

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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