Biotechnology Executives Break Oil Dependency April 1st, 2007
“Industrial biotechnology is causing a dramatic paradigm shift in transportation fuels that will end our national addiction to oil,” boldly predicts Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of Biotechnology Industry Organization.
“We need to rapidly move forward commercializing these technologies for cellulosic ethanol production, which will strengthen our energy and national security,” Greenwood commented to a panel of experts and industry representatives convened in mid-March to discuss large-scale production of cellulosic ethanol.
Cellulosic ethanol is produced from crop waste and switch grass. BIO contends that cellulosic ethanol could quickly replace much of the imported oil in America’s domestic transportation fuel supply.
In his State of the Union address, President Bush voiced his support of cellulosic ethanol technology and announced his intention to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years.
“By building modern biorefineries and using biotech enzymes that convert crop waste and switch grass to ethanol, we could significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil sources by producing between 25 to 50 percent of our transportation fuel domestically,” Greenwood advises biotechnology executives.
“Industrial biotech is the enabling technology that will allow farmers to harvest two crops from every field — a food crop and a biomass crop for fuel production. Biotech breakthroughs mean that the nation’s breadbasket could also become the energy fields of the United States. The question is not when, but how soon this will happen,” said Brent Erickson, BIO’s executive vice president for industrial and environmental biotechnology.
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