Science continues to stretch the alternatives for what may be the fuel of tomorrow. Recent news of a breakthrough at the University of Wisconsin-Madison indicates that carbohydrate or sugar may be the next fuel alternative to seek a market.
Professor James Dumesic and his graduate students are converting biomass into sugar and then turning that into 2,5-dimethylfuran (DMF). From their work they have determined that DMF can be created with 1/3 the energy as ethanol while providing a higher energy capacity as well. Although DMF is still in its research phase and its own environmental impact has yet to be determined it is certainly a promising alternative worthy of further investigation.
The most important aspect to take out of the announcement of DMF as another alternative fuel is that science is in pursuit of an answer.
Check out the article from the University of Wisconsin-Madison that details the process and benefits of DMF over ethanol.