Wishful thinking in the alternative fuels field.

AvWeb’s Paul Bertorelli does the best job I’ve seen lately (ever?) of describing the state of the art in producing “new” “alternative” fuels.

Over a year ago, on the UCAP podcast, we reported our discovery that Swift Fuel was not being made from bio sources. Samples were being made from petroleum derived stock. Bertorelli reiterates this and goes on to explain some of the biology, chemistry, and economics involved.

…the reporter goes beyond leading the witness and just flat out states that Swift is made from biomass. Swift’s Jon Zuilkowski replied that Swift can be made from biomass, but if you listen critically, he doesn’t say precisely that it is or has been. He talks about estimated yields from various crop sources in a theoretical sense because, in reality, Swift hasn’t carried or proven the biomass-to-fuel process end to end at a large scale. It has produced small quantities for test purposes straight from raw sugars, but just a few gallons.

Read the whole thing…