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Biotechnology boosts raw material supply

Biotechnology is helping American farmers continue to supply an economic, environmentally sustainable supply of food and raw material for biofuels, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) said in response to a recent Earth Policy Institute report.

BIO noted the EPI report underestimates the impact biotechnology will have in increasing yields of both corn and ethanol from corn as well as producing ethanol from cellulose, meeting worldwide demand for both food and fuel.

“Agricultural biotechnology is helping farmers increase corn yields so we can make more ethanol,” stated BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood. “In addition, industrial biotech companies are developing new enzymes that make current ethanol processes more efficient and will soon allow the economical conversion of cellulosic crop residues to fuel. With ongoing advances in biotechnology, biofuels can helpAmerica meet nearly half its transportation-fuel needs by the middle of this century.”

Report on the future of feedstock
BIO's recently released report, “Achieving Sustainable Production of Agricultural Biomass for Biorefinery Feedstock,” outlines current and future feedstock supply challenges for the biofuel industry and discusses incentives to spur sustainable production, harvest and delivery of agricultural cellulosic biomass. The report shows that corn stover and cereal straw can supply 200 million dry tons of feedstock annually within three to five years, tripling current ethanol from corn production.

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