Larger biofuels demonstration harvest sought

Oklahoma City_Scientists in Oklahoma are looking into the feasibility of using native grasses as a source in making ethanol.  The Oklahoma Bioenergy Center scientists are planning a 1,000-acre test area to produce a commercial-scale harvest for biofuel research.

The center is designed to help attract cellulosic ethanol plants to Oklahoma. Cellulosic ethanol uses tough plants such as switchgrass, alfalfa and certain trees instead of corn to create the transportation fuel.

Deputy Oklahoma Secretary of Energy Bobby Wegener says cellulosic ethanol is the best way for the state to participate in the ethanol industry because Oklahoma doesn't grow enough corn.  The Oklahoma Bioenergy Center includes people from the Noble Foundation, The University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. It was established with 10 million dollars from the legislature and the group is expected to ask lawmakers for three more yearly 10 million dollar installments.

(Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)