File this under possibly hopeful news: Researchers at Purdue are calling an approach that gasifies biomass to make liquid fuels a "hybrid hydrogen-carbon process," or H2CAR. Read the article for the straight scoop, but it's basically adding hydrogen to biomass from a "carbon-free" energy source (solar? wind? nukes?), via gasification. The process would be more efficient than current biofuel production because it'd suppress the formation of carbon dioxide and convert all of the carbon atoms to fuel. Is it just hot air? And if this process is powered by nukes, that's a whole new question.
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Erik Hoffner works for Orion magazine and is also a freelance photographer and writer.
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