By BRIAN BIENKOWSKI
Unlocking the energy in yard clippings, corn stalks and leaves may get much easier, according to a recent Michigan State University study. That would help bioenergy producers switch to cheaper sources that cause fewer environmental headaches. What’s more, it may mean less reliance on plants that people eat. The study treated plants with ammonia to convert them to fuel more quickly. Converting second generation sources, like corn stalks and switchgrass, to biofuels is easier when they’re pre-treated with ammonia, according to researchers.