A California-based company is considering central Alabama to grow a bumper crop of sugar cane to fuel its venture into biofuels -- including diesel, jet fuel and gasoline, reports The Mongomery Advertiser. A final goal for Amyris Biotechnologies, the story says, is selling its product to the U.S. Air Force.
I've heard of corn-ethanol fuel alternatives, and even algae, but sugar is a new one for me. It makes sense, molecularly speaking: Amyris' website says the company uses sugar fermentation to create hydrocarbons, the same molecular structure found in petroleum.
The 100-acre plot in south Alabama, one of many small plantings across the state, typically would yield ingredients for molasses.
Though sugar tends to be worth more as a food product, the story says, it could turn out to be a sweet deal. Amyris has partnered with Crystalsev, a large Brazilian ethanol distributor and marketer, to commercialize its product, the Adverstiser reports.