Genomes to Life: A DOE Systems Biology Program
Genomics and Its Impact on Science and Society: The Human Genome Project and Beyond
Genomes for Bioenergy
Cellulosic Biomass: An Abundant, Secure Energy Source to Reduce
The United States now produces 7 billion gallons
of corn-grain ethanol per year, a fraction of the 142 billion
gallons of transportation fuel used annually. Cellulosic
ethanol has the potential to dramatically increase
the availability of ethanol and help meet the national
goal of displacing 30% of gasoline by 2030.
Cellulose is the most abundant biological material
on earth. The crops used to make cellulosic ethanol
(e.g., postharvest corn plants—not corn grain—and
switchgrass) can be grown in most states and often
on marginal lands. As with ethanol from corn grain,
cellulose-based ethanol can be used as a fuel additive
to improve gasoline combustion in today’s
vehicles. Modest engine modifications are required
to use higher blends (85% ethanol). Additionally, the
amount of carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere
from producing and burning ethanol is far less than
that released from gasoline.
To accelerate technological breakthroughs, the DOE Genomic Science Program will establish research centers to target specific DOE mission challenges. Three DOE Bioenergy Research Centers are focused on overcoming biological challenges to cellulosic ethanol production. In addition to ethanol, these centers are exploring ways to produce a new generation of petroleum-like biofuels and other advanced energy products from cellulosic biomass.
Download flyer at http://genomicsgtl.energy.gov/biofuels/placemat.shtml
The online presentation of this publication is a special feature of the Human Genome Project Information Web site.
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