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News 166 views last update:6 Aug 2012

US invests $375 mln in bioenergy research

The US Energy Department will invest up to $375 million in three new research centers that will develop cellulosic ethanol and other biofuels that will help reduce America's gasoline demand.

The centers will advance the Bush administration's goal to make cellulosic ethanol produced from cheaper agricultural and forest wastes cost-competitive with traditional corn-based ethanol and cut US gasoline consumption by 20% over the next decade.

More efficient methods
A major focus of the centers will be to find new, more efficient methods for converting the cellulose in plant material into ethanol or other biofuels that serve as a substitute for gasoline.
"This research is critical because future biofuels production will require the use of feedstocks more diverse than corn, including cellulosic material like agricultural residues, grasses, poplar trees, inedible plants, and non-edible portions of crops," the Energy Department said.

The three bioenergy research centers, which are expected to begin their work in 2008, will be located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Madison, Wisconsin and near Berkeley, California.

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