Rowan researchers convert corn waste to cheap fuel

When farmers harvest their crops each fall, an untold amount of plant waste - corn husks, wheat stalks and other fiber known collectively as corn stover - is either thrown out or simply plowed back into their fields.

For farmers, these harvest leftovers are a cheap fertilizer. But Brian Lefebvre, a professor of chemical engineering at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., sees their potential to be much more: free energy.

"This wheat straw, this corn stover - these resources are untapped," said Lefebvre. "That could essentially triple our ethanol production, and I think we could begin to reduce our dependence on foreign oil."

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When farmers harvest their crops each fall, an untold amount of plant waste - corn husks, wheat stalks and other fiber known collectively as corn stover - is either thrown out or simply plowed back in

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Philadelphia Business Journal