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Speaker Abstract

U.S. Department of Energy Biomass Program: Strengthening U.S. Energy Diversity and Security with Abundant Domestic Resources

Tom Foust

In the last two State of the Union addresses President Bush has challenged the nation to increase biofuel production to reduce oil imports from the Middle East, targeting a goal of 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels by 2017. This goal, plus the longer term goal of producing 30% of our transportation fuel from biomass by 2030, will not be possible without cost effective conversion of cellulosic biomass into liquid fuels. The DOE National Labs and their industry and university partners are addressing this challenge through research on the following key barriers to cellulosic ethanol:

  1. The high cost of enzymatic conversion;
  2. Inadequate technology for producing ethanol from sugars derived from biomass;
  3. Limitations of thermochemical conversion processes,
  4. Demonstration/integration of technology in biorefineries, and
  5. Inadequate distribution infrastructure for expanding markets.