In the NEWS - "Biogasoline" by Keith Johnson - What about cutting oil out of the gasoline equation? Shell and Virent are working to turn sugars into "biogasoline" that can run in regular engines with as much punch as regular gas, in the WSJ and the Houston Chronicle. Green Car Congress and R-Squared take a look at the science behind turning sugar into gasoline....

Why the interest by big money?... easy answer is to "take public mind off of more sustainable options we need to focus on" (Ethanol vs Solar for example)

"What we learn and use from history will determine the fate of our energy future... simply "reinventing" old technologies will keep us in the dark and dirty ages" - Haase

History - before World War II, and during the high demand wartime period, biofuels were valued as a strategic alternative to imported oil. Wartime Germany experienced extreme oil shortages, and many energy innovations resulted. This include the powering of some of its vehicles using a blend of gasoline with alcohol fermented from potatoes, called Reichskraftsprit.[citation needed] In Britain, grain alcohol was blended with petrol by the Distillers Company Limited under the name Discol, and marketed through Esso's affiliate Cleveland.[citation needed]

The process for making fuel from biomass feedstock used in the 1800's is basically the same one used today. It was the influences of the industrial magnates during the 1920's and 1930's on both the politics and economics of those times that created the foundation for our perceptions today.

Nearly ANY source of complex fatty acid can be used to create biofuel. Early on, peanut oil, hemp oil, corn oil, and tallow were used as sources for the complex fatty acids used in the separation process. Currently, soybeans, rapeseed (or its cousin, canola oil), corn, recycled fryer oil, tallow, forest wastes, and sugar cane are common resources for the complex fatty acids and their by-product, biofuels.

However, research is being done into oil production from algae, which could have yields greater than any feedstock known today. Opps, that would be a new idea ;-)