ethanol, the first biofuel widely available in the US, is dead. or soon will be. the future for biofuels is brighter than ever.
it has been blamed for increased fuel prices, increased crop prices, increased environmental issues, and is frankly an idiotic technology that has only stuck around as long as it has because of corrupt shortsighted policymakers.
why would anybody ever want to convert food into automotive fuel?
if you were silly enough to want to convert food into fuel, why would you choose to convert it into a fuel that is incompatible with your fuel distribution network and most of the cars in the country (at great than 10% concentration)?
why would anybody ever make a fuel that takes more energy to produce than you get out of it when you use it?
ethanol production to date has been a demonstration of how to transfer money from taxpayers into the pockets of chemical companies while producing negative societal and environmental impact and conveying the image of being pro-America, pro-Farmer.
these factors together are slowly seeping into the general consciousness of the nation and will ensure that the future of biofuels won't include ethanol. all of these problems will be linked with the word ethanol. people will rally against ethanol. any politician trying to support ethanol will be booted out.
but the national consciousness has a very simplistic understanding of technical issues, so future biofuels will suffer from no related image problems. the promoters of the next generation of biofuels will just have to make sure that the name that their technology comes to be known by sounds nothing like ethanol.
so, biobutanol could have image problems, but the branded bioadditives that will be distributed by fuel companies will do just fine.
given today's high fuel prices, any biofuel that doesn't rely on food or fuel for its production can't help but succeed.