Europe decided that in the year 2020, 93% of all the
ethanol being mixed to gasoline will have to come from
cellulose instead of sugar. This type of ethanol is
called "cellulosic", but depends highly on the basic
matter where it will have to be come, called "feedstock"
Problem is, Europe doesn't really have proper feedstocks
for that kind of ethanol. The options available, such as
wood residues, urban trash, straw, etc have too much
lignin, chlorine, etc. This means an end product too
expensive and thus uncompetitive.
Sugarcane is provenly the best feedstock for
cellulosic ethanol. It has a high amount of
cellulose, low lignin, and it grows fast. In fact,
sugarcane is one of the most effective crops, being
able to grow on just 2% sunlight, fix nitrogen, etc.
However, sugarcane is mostly a tropical crop, being
unable for example to move sugar under temperatures
below 5o C. However, it is also extremely adaptable,
and in fact there are literally hundreds of
varieties adapted to several soils, conditions,
pests, etc Thus, all is required is to develop a
variety which is able to grow on colder climates,
thus allowing it to grow in regions in Europe where
regular sugarcane would not able to prosper. This is
called "Energy Cane"
This is what we are going to do, and once this
variety is ready, it will be registered so farmers
all over Europe will be able to grow it. And
cellulosic ethanol will be able to use it to obtain
ethanol. EThe end result is Europe will have a type
of ethanol which does not compete with food and
which helps in preventing oil imports and decreases
the continent's carbon footprint.