Energy: Turning Waste into Fuel

A DANISH BIOTECH FIRM WORKS ON ANSWERS

When the hawks and greens of Washington's new anti-oil coalitions talk about ethanol fueling the future car, they aren't talking about the brew distilled from cornstarch. What they are referring to is a more fiscally and environmentally defensible alcohol, brewed from prairie grasses or agricultural waste, like straw. Trouble is, the technology required to commercialize bioethanol is in its infancy.

People like CEO Steen Riisgaard, a passionate environmentalist who went into business because he thought he could do good, are helping the technology mature. Novozymes, the $1 billion, Copenhagen-based company he leads, sells microbes and enzymes made from genetically engineered bugs...

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