Honda says to open bio-ethanol research centre

Feb 26, 2009
The corporate logo for the Honda Motor Co. The Japanese company seeking a boost in the race to build greener automobiles, said Thursday it would open a research centre to develop and produce bio-ethanol fuel from non-edible plant matter.

Japan's Honda Motor Co., seeking a boost in the race to build greener automobiles, said Thursday it would open a research centre to develop and produce bio-ethanol fuel from non-edible plant matter.

Japan's second-largest carmaker said it aims to start building the facility in Chiba prefecture near Tokyo in April and begin operations in November.

Bio-ethanol is a plant-derived fuel source that produces very little carbon-dioxide. Its supply is limited as it is primarily produced from sugar and corn -- staple foods for people.

Honda wants to study whether it is viable to produce bio-ethanol from non-edible plant matter.

The automaker has already succeeded in producing the basic technology to extract ethanol fuel from cellulose, found in the fibrous part of plants, including inedible leaves and the stalks of plants.

Honda is striving to be an industry leader in eco-friendly cars, with its Civic hybrid proving a success alongside rival Toyota Motor Corp's Prius.

Japanese automakers have vowed to keep up their development of fuel-efficient cars, despite a slump in sales due to the economic downturn.

Honda said last week that its president was stepping down in June to be replaced by a younger head who would pull the company through the crisis.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Solar-powered plane lands in Hawaii after flight from Japan (Update)

Related Stories

Researcher proposes a new energy efficiency measurement

7 minutes ago

Rick Larrick has been on a crusade to help people better understand how much energy they use. A professor with Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, in 2008 Larrick and Fuqua colleague Jack Soll proposed ...

Making the biofuels process safer for microbes

2 minutes ago

A team of investigators at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Michigan State University have created a process for making the work environment less toxic—literally—for the organisms that do the heavy ...

Recommended for you

Dutch team reveals 'energy-positive' family car

14 hours ago

The Solar Team Eindhoven (STE) student team from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e, The Netherlands) today presents its new solar-powered car. Stella Lux is an intelligent, solar-powered family car ...

Five properties of physics that affect your gas mileage

15 hours ago

Physics is inescapable. It's everywhere, making your Frisbees fly, your toilets flush and your pasta water boil at a lower temperature at altitude. We've harnessed these forces, along with chemistry and engineering, ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Birger
not rated yet Feb 27, 2009
-What is the projected cost for large-scale production? How many steps does the process require from cellulose to ethanol?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.