Experts Can Speak About Ethanol and Other Biofuels

Written by Cory Chandler

News Release

DATE: May 11, 2006
CONTACT: Cory Chandler,
(806) 742-2136

As Gas Prices Climb, University Researchers Boost Efficiency of Alternative Fuels

Oil and gas prices continue to skyrocket, making biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel more cost-effective and attractive. Texas Tech scientists are collaborating on new methods to more cheaply and efficiently produce ethanol and other fuels.

Through multidisciplinary research that combines Texas Tech’s agricultural, chemical, engineering and business expertise, the university is working to increase production of renewable biofuels including ethanol, biodiesel and lignocellulosic biomass – or fuel developed from grasses and other plant matter.

Within three years, the university estimates that the Texas High Plains could produce as many as 400 million gallons of ethanol to supplement energy needs each year. It could supply around 200 million gallons of biodiesel in less than five years and 600 million gallons of lignocellulosic biomass within the next ten.

Co-products generated during the fermentation of biofuels could be used to boost other industries, the researchers believe. Examples include using the carbon dioxide that results from fermentation in oil and gas recovery or feeding leftover grains to cattle.

Experts can speak to a range of issues and include:

Dr. Dick Auld, Rockwell professor and chairman of the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, can speak about the production of feedstocks and genetic manipulation of crops needed for production of biofuels. He can be reached at (806) 742-2838, or

Dr. Dominick J. Casadonte, Jr., Minnie Stevens Piper professor and chairman of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, can speak about biofuel development using nontraditional crop plant extracts, such as cottonseed oil. He can be reached at (806) 742-1832, or

Dr. Mike Galyean, professor of animal and food sciences, can speak about using co-products created during ethanol and biodiesel production to support animal industries and optimize economic return. He can be reached at (806) 742-2453, or

Dr. Naz Karim, chairman of the Department of Chemical Engineering, can speak about new pre-treatments and enzymes that can be used to more effectively convert biomass into fuel. He can be reached at (806) 742-3553, or

Dr. Timothy Maxwell, professor of mechanical engineering, can speak to the development of engines using methanol, ethanol, natural gas, hydrogen and hybrid electric drive trains. He can be reached at (806) 742-3563, or

Terry McInturff, director of the Rawls College of Business Center for Energy Commerce, can speak about international energy policy and law and the marketing and distribution of biofuels. He can be reached at (806) 742-1609, or

Dr. John Zak, chairman of the Department of Biological Sciences, can speak to the possible benefits of using arid-land fungi in biofuel development. He can be reached at (806) 742-2715, or