Larger Biofuels Demonstration Harvest Sought

Friday, October 12th 2007, 2:19 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- 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 does not 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 from the Legislature and the group is expected to ask lawmakers for three more yearly $10 million installments.