I have been saying for some time that alcohol fuels are a viable alternative to oil based fuels. However on of the problems with ethanol is that making it from wheat or corn makes dubious sense. Its only survives in the US with government subsidies. However there is an alternative make it from coal and other hydrocarbons:
DALLAS (Nov. 9, 2010) -- Celanese Corporation (NYSE: CE), a global technology and specialty materials company, today announced its intention to construct manufacturing facilities in China and the U.S. to utilize recently-developed advanced technology for the production of ethanol for chemical applications and other industrial uses. Celanese’s innovative process technology builds on the company’s industry-leading acetyl platform and integrates new technologies to produce ethanol using basic hydrocarbon feedstocks.
“We are very excited about our technology advancement as it allows us to address growing global demand for ethanol in industrial applications,” said Dave Weidman, chairman and chief executive officer. “The company has successfully integrated newly developed technologies with elements of our proprietary advanced acetyl platform to provide an economically-advantaged solution for global ethanol needs.”
Of course there is another alternative, use methanol instead of ethanol. Converting hydrocarbons and organic matter to methanol is old tech and methanol works fine flex fuel cars.