“Iowa State University researchers”:http://www.iastate.edu/~nscentral/news/2006/may/mold.shtml have discovered a method for using mold to break down corn fibers in to simple sugars that can be fermented to create Ethanol. Apparently, the process is not a simple one; corn fibers are very tough and do not degrade easily. Corn fibers are a byproduct of the wet milling process that produces corn syrup. And we all consume gallons of corn syrup mixed with caffeine (aka Coca-Cola) every year so this is good stuff and precisely the kind of thinking that seems to be required. Of course, the process only works on a small scale at the moment but mix a little venture capital or government money in and things become interesting.
[via The Energy Blog]