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BIO Calls for Federal Investment in Ethanol from Cellulose

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) urged the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to commit to significantly reducing the cost of ethanol from cellulose by helping fund research and incentives for commercialization.

According to a survey conducted in October by Harris Interactive on behalf of BIO, four in five U.S. adults (80%) agree that national and state governments are not doing enough to promote production of biofuels. In November, BIO released a report, "Achieving Sustainable Production of Agricultural Biomass for Biorefinery Feedstock," that details the potential of cellulosic biomass as an energy resource and the promise of no-till cropping for greater residue collection. The report further points out the need for infrastructure to deliver feedstocks from farms to biorefineries. James Hettenhaus of CEA Inc., author of the report, stated, "For the biofuel industry to expand, biorefinery operators must be confident that the supply chain for cellulosic feedstocks is robust, and farmers must be assured that they will benefit by adopting sustainable harvesting practices." "With industrial biotechnology processes now available that transform crop residues such as corn stover, wheat straw and rice straw into ethanol, America could soon meet an even larger portion of its transportation fuel needs with biofuels," said Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO's Industrial & Environmental Section.

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