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Connecticut Inventor and Entrepreneur, Eric Knight, Publishes Paper on “Free” Biofuel Energy Source

Unlike Corn Ethanol Production, the Utilization of Tree Leaves as a Biofuel Source for Cellulosic Ethanol Production Would Not Increase the Levels of Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere

Eric Knight, renowned inventor and entrepreneur, has published an insightful Thought Paper

entitled: “Tree leaves: A free source of energy, literally falling from the sky. A perpetually renewable energy source — tree leaves

— may be the ideal Earth-friendly biofuel feedstock for the production of ethanol and / or as a secondary fuel source for power plants.”

The full text of the Thought Paper is available here:


The Thought Paper speculates that tree leaves could provide a nearly unlimited and naturally renewable energy source. Some points from the Thought Paper:

* In America, alone, up to 30 million tons of tree leaves end up in landfills every year.

* Tree leaves account for 75% of the solid waste in autumn.

* Unlike corn ethanol production, the utilization of tree leaves as a biofuel source for cellulosic ethanol production would not increase the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

* Additional energy application: Tree leaves could also be used as a secondary fuel in coal-burning power plants.

* The 30 million tons of tree leaves that end up annually in landfills are estimated to have the equivalent energy of 18.45 million tons of coal, worth $627.3 million.

The full text of the Thought Paper is available here:


Additional information contained in the Thought Paper:

* The potential exists for a wide-ranging “Leaves-to-Energy” industry.

* Tree leaves can be an ultra-low-cost and perpetually renewable energy resource.

* Tree leaves don’t have to be mined (like coal), pumped from the ground or ocean (like oil or gas), fertilized and grown (like corn or soybean), or specially processed, refined, transported, and disposed of (like uranium for nuclear reactors).

* As a biofuel feedstock for cellulosic ethanol production, the advantages are numerous. Tree leaves are essentially free to harvest, are naturally renewable, and are a carbon-dioxide-neutral feedstock.

* As a secondary fuel in coal-burning power plants, tree leaves would require minimal processing and preparation for use as a fuel. Mother Nature dries tree leaves automatically and efficiently. Tree leaves are already being “packaged” (in paper lawn bags) by consumers, then collected and transported by municipalities. Bagged leaves could be re-routed from landfills to power-generating facilities where they could be blended in with the municipal solid waste that is already being used as a secondary fuel source.

* If the very labor- and equipment-intensive coal industry can be profitable at mining and selling its product for $34 per ton, it would seem that a profitable business model could be conceived for a massively abundant and perpetually renewable energy source. This premise seems particularly possible, given that tree leaves have similar physical and calorific characteristics as paper — an already commonly-used secondary fuel source at power plants.

* Additional benefit: The elimination of 30 million tons of annual landfill waste, greatly reducing municipal landfill costs and requirements.

* Forests are the “mother lode” of fallen tree leaves — and energy.

* The vast majority of fallen tree leaves occur in forests. If a profitable business model could be established, and there was a concerted effort to harvest tree leaves that fall in wooded areas, the availability of tree leaves could rise by 100 fold, maybe more.

* Care would have to be taken to not upset the ecosystem balance created by the fallen tree leaves on the forest floor. The leaves provide nutrients to the plant life, offer shelter to small wildlife, and create a living environment for microorganisms. Scientific and environmental analyses would have to be performed to determine what percentage of leaf removal would be tolerable by the natural ecosystem.

* As a cellulosic biofuel feedstock for ethanol production and / or as a secondary fuel in cleaner-burning, coal-based power plants, the potential seems to exist for tree leaves to emerge as a new, renewable energy source.

The full text of the Thought Paper is available here:


Additional information regarding celllulosic enthanol is available


About Eric Knight

Eric Knight is a futurist, inventor, entrepreneur, and business pioneer. He is the president of Remarkable Technologies, Inc. As an inventor and entrepreneur, Eric Knight has appeared on numerous television programs and networks (such as CNN, The Discovery Channel, and The BBC) as well a variety of talk shows, including a guest appearance on the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

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Sat. April 20th, 2024

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