Cellulosic Biofuels' Economic and Technological ChallengesSpeed Bumps or Detours?
Ethanol produced from biomass (a biofuel) has been hailed as an alternative energy source to offset reliance on foreign oil. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) issued a new renewable fuel standard (RFS2) that mandated renewable fuel consumption to increase incrementally from 2010 - 2022 across feedstocks (e.g. food crops such as corn, sugarcane), cellulosics (plants' hardier non-food materials such as corn stover, starchy grasses, and forest litter including wood), and algae. While grain bioethanol is tracking to meet or exceed its quota, a lack of supply has had the 2011 and 2012 cellulosic targets reduced to less than 3% of the previous requirements. Some analysts suggest that meeting RFS2's cellulosic quotas will require either a significant increase in the price of oil and/or extensive subsidies to make such biofuel competitive with conventional gasoline. Other industry watchers argue RFS2's goals are a matter of opening more manufacturing sites and building an infrastructure and consumer base to create demand that drives production volumes. This panel will discuss the interrelated economics and technological challenges confronting biofuels to inform on moving forward with RFS2.
January 30th at 12 noon
from the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, DC
U.S. Senator Chris Coons
U.S. Senator James Inhofe
Moderator: William Provine, Ph.D., Science Director, Biochemical Science & Engineering, BioFuels at DuPont Central Research & Development
Panelists: Virginia Dale, Ph.D., Corporate Fellow, Oakridge National Laboratory Douglas Karlen, Ph.D., Supervisory Soil Scientist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Ames, Iowa Aristides Patrinos, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Synthetic Genomics Wallace Tyner, Ph.D., James & Lois Ackerman Professor of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University
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