Odds are when you think of renewable energy sources, zebras don’t have a lot to do with it. But right here in New Orleans, Dr. David A. Mullin, a professor of molecular biology at Tulane, is researching ways to make biofuel cost effective. And as this New York Times article explains, zebras and other herbivores, might just be the key.
Biofuels have run into a number of problems lately. Reuters reports that German aircraft carrier Lufthansa had to put an end to its trial use of biofuel mixed fuel because it used up its stock of certified biofuel and no other reliable supplies are available. The Financial Times also ran a story this week on the stall in the biofuel industry’s growth.
Biofuels have also often been controversial because of the fact that they convert food products into fuel. Ethanol in particular, which is made from corn, has been accused of driving up the cost of corn and other associated agricultural products. Until recently, the U.S. government had subsidized the biofuel industry. The Voice of America report below explains that although the subsidy is a thing of the past, food prices won’t necessarily drop as a result.