California man's small-scale ethanol production plant starting to gain worldwide attention

Floyd Butterfield was ahead of today's need for alternative energy sources when he built a small Paso Robles plant that would produce fuel from alcohol — in 1981.

But not until recently, as gasoline prices started creeping up, has Butterfield’s contest-winning design for a small-scale ethanol production plant garnered worldwide attention.

Now he's designing and consulting for two innovative ethanol-based businesses. One includes production of four small-scale gas-from-trash plants in the Midwest, and another could bring ethanol production into your own backyard.

"To me, the writing on the wall for the oil business has been there for 20 years. It's going to slowly get more and more expensive because the resource is disappearing. It makes sense to me that we cannot run the world's economies on a resource that's finite," said Butterfield, who graduated from Paso Robles High School in 1972.

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