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UC Davis is partner in new $125 million federal bioenergy research center

dge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn., and the DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in close collaboration with Michigan State University.

"These centers will provide the transformational science needed for bioenergy breakthroughs to advance President Bush's goal of making cellulosic ethanol cost-competitive with gasoline by 2012, and assist in reducing America's gasoline consumption by 20 percent in 10 years," said Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman. "The collaborations of academic, corporate, and national laboratory researchers represented by these centers are truly impressive and I am very encouraged by the potential they hold for advancing America's energy security."

"The selection of the DOE JBEI is a major vote of confidence in the Bay Area's growing leadership in the national effort to develop new and cleaner sources of renewable energy," said Jay Keasling, director of Berkeley Lab's Physical Biosciences Division and a UC Berkeley professor of chemical engineering, who will be the chief executive officer for Northern California's new bioenergy research institute.

Potential of Biofuels

Scientific studies have consistently ranked biofuels among the top candidates for meeting large-scale energy needs, particularly in the transportation sector. However, the commercial-scale production of clean, efficient, cost-effective biofuels will require technology-transforming scientific breakthroughs.

Researchers at the JBEI intend to meet this challenge through the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into biofuels. Lignocelluose, the most abundant organic material on the planet, is a mix of complex sugars and lignin that gives strength and structure to plant cell walls. By extracting simple fermentable sugars from lignocellulose and producing biofuels from those sugars, the potential of the most energy-efficient an
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Contact: Pamela Ronald
pcronald@ucdavis.edu
530-752-1654
University of California - Davis
26-Jun-2007


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