The trend of increasing petroleum prices has prompted the consideration of other fuels for transportation. Ethanol has received a great deal of attention based on the hope that it is possible to develop a sustainable and relatively environmentally responsible alternative to gasoline. Currently, the biofuels industry depends heavily on the use of cereal crops as the feedstock for the ethanol refineries. This practice, however, has led to concern over the diversion of food supplies to fuel supplies; price increases of corn and corn-dependent products (milk, beef, etc.) have already been blamed on the market forces pushing crops towards fuel production. Additionally, sufficient land water exist in the US for cereal crop-based biofuels. Another method for producing ethanol uses waste products as the main feedstock. The waste can consist of anything fermentable — agricultural field remnants, yard clippings, and paper and food waste all are potentially inputs to the ethanol production process. An added benefit of such a system is the decrease in the amount of material that must be disposed in landfills or dumps. This paper briefly discusses the conversion of municipal solid waste (MSW) to ethanol for use as an automotive replacement fuel.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.