WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ A project that involves an Oklahoma-based foundation is looking at alternative ways to develop ethanol, which is an alternative fuel usually made of corn.
Kansas State University will receive $700,000 from the US Department of Agriculture to do genetic research on making different types of vegetation, such as native switchgrass, more conducive to being turned into ethanol.
Scientists know plants are rich in cellulose, which is similar to the basic sugars used in making ethanol. But plants can also be much tougher to break down than corn.
The project is being done in conjunction with the Noble Foundation in Oklahoma and is part of a 5.7 million dollar federal program.
Kansas State researcher Bikram Gill stresses that the research is the first of many steps required to see if such ethanol production is viable.