The idea of corncobs as a sustainable biofuel feedstock is gaining traction, thanks to new research and improved harvesting systems, writes Jim Lane. For example, a study from Iowa State University found that up to a ton of corn stover per acre can be taken from harvested fields without adversely affecting soil quality, Lane states. "At 180 bushels per acre, there would be approximately a ton of cobs. They say take a ton. So take the cobs, for Pete's sake," said Beth Stukenholtz of biotechnology firm FarmMax, which has developed a single-pass process for gathering corncobs.

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