Federal grant funds Baylor prof’s biofuel research
Dr. Kevin Chambliss, a Baylor chemistry professor, recently received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to study the use of alternative feedstocks to produce biofuels.
Plenty of studies have examined producing ethanol from corn, but some experts are beginning to question the use of corn alone as a source of fuel, noting that it takes a great deal of energy to produce biofuel from corn and that a growing need for corn as fuel would likely lead to growing prices for corn as food, disproportionately hurting some poorer areas of the world.
Thus, Chambliss and others are exploring alternative grains, like sorghum. The DoE grant will support research into the pretreatment of sorghum prior to its fermentation into ethanol. Since Texas is the nation’s second largest sorghum producer, Chambliss’ work has the potential to not only help reduce the nation’s independence on foreign oil, but also strengthen the state’s economy and help Texas emerge as a leader in ethanol and biofuel production.
Sic ’em, Dr. Chambliss!