Appropriately named, the city just south of Orlando Florida, called Destiny, is poised to become America’s first environmentally-sustainable city.
The city would span 61,000 acres in central Florida, keeping 25,000 acres as open space. The development project would only build residential buildings on land that has been exhausted by citrus groves and can no longer sustain agriculture.
Eventually, city developers of Destiny like Randy Johnson, plan to harvest sorghum and jatropha plants to make biofuels. More ideas, such as using pyrolysis (burning organic matter to speed up decomposition), gasification and other “waste-to-energy” facilities like converting methane into energy for turbines, are in the works.
According to the American Clean Energy Act of 2009, financial support will be offered to companies if they promote biofuels and/or the use of electric cars. This is good news for ethanol because it is a type of biofuel.
This initiative is not surprising considering President Obama’s recent nominations for two specific positions within the Department of Energy.
From left, Steven Chu and Steven Koonin at Berkeley
Steven Koonin was appointed to the position of Undersecretary of Science by President Obama on March 23. He had been the Chief Scientist at BP since 2004 where he researched renewable and alternative fuels.
The basic argument against biofuels is that food sources like corn and wheat should not be used to make fuel. The substitutes for these crops are plants such as switchgrass and miscanthus, but these grasses take longer to break down than corn kernals, making the fuel production process more costly.