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Poplar trees as a source of ethanol


September 11, 2007
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Richland, WA — Poplar trees, often used as a cheap source of pulp for paper production in Washington and Oregon, m…

Richland, WA — Poplar trees, often used as a cheap source of pulp for paper production in Washington and Oregon, may find a new use as an ethanol source. Anna King of Northwest Public Radio, spoke to Jon Johnson, a scientist at Washington State University. Johnson believes that poplars could be a promising source of ethanol in the future, and has received a federal grant to help him further his study.

The trees have an advantage in that you dont have to harvest them annually, Johnson notes in an interview with King. He says that poplar trees would make an excellent source of ethanol because the trees are cheap and easy to grow, estimating that a 950-acre farm could produce up to one million gallons of ethanol per year. Initial studies suggest that commercial production of ethanol from poplars could cost less than $1 per gallon.

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