Biotechnology Fuel Costs January 1st, 2010
Ethanol production could provide Americans with an alternative fuel supply while boosting the national’s agricultural biotech industry.
“If America is to deal with the problem of high fuel prices, we must develop and scale up a less expensive domestic fuel supply, and ethanol is the best, most readily available solution,” said Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of Biotechnology Industry Organization.
“Most people are not aware that biotechnology now offers ways to dramatically increase ethanol production and bring down fuel prices,” Greenwood said in response to rising fuel costs.
Ethanol from corn currently contributes over 4 billion gallons to the fuel supply every year. Greenwood said the industry could produce upwards of 70 billion gallons of ethanol each year to met fuel demands through newly developed enzymes than can covert cellulose from agricultural crops and plant matter to sugars that are fermented into ethanol.
“Agricultural crops and plant matter containing cellulose are an untapped reservoir of energy that is abundantly available throughout the United States,” Greenwood said.
According to information from BIO, biotech processes already being used today could produce ethanol from cellulose for less than $1.60 a gallon compared to refined petroleum currently costing as much as $2.60 per gallon (prior to state and federal taxes).
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