Household waste could be fuelling cars driving on our streets within the next two years, it has been claimed.
INEOS, the world's third largest chemical company, said it aimed to produce commercial quantities of bioethanol fuel from biodegradable municipal waste by 2011.
Peter Williams, chief executive officer of INEOS Bio, the part of the firm which makes bioethanol fuel, said: "Our technology will make a major contribution to reducing greenhouse gasses and the world's need for fossil fuels.
"This is a very robust and flexible process, and we have everything we need now to take it to a commercial level.
"This is very attractive from the perspective of the food versus fuel debate, as it takes fuel production away from corn."
The process produces ethanol by mixing a biological catalyst with carbon monoxide and hydrogen, which are produced by burning the biodegradable waste.
The innovation is supported by The National Non-Food Crops Centre (NNFCC) the UK's national centre for renewable fuels, materials and technologies.
Dr Geraint Evans, from the NNFCC, said: "There is enough rubbish in Humberside to make around 200,000 tonnes of ethanol for fuel. There's a lot of rubbish around, and this is an ecologically sound way of using it."
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