martes, julio 03, 2007

Catching Up

Estados Unidos invierte fuerte en I+D en el sector del bioetanol. Ojalá Brasil aproveche su actual liderazgo en la materia porque sospecho que no durará para siempre.

U.S. seeks bioenergy breakthroughs

The U.S. Energy Department is creating three bioenergy research centers to find new ways to turn plants into fuel.

The three centers, which the department described as three start-up companies with $125 million each in capital, will be in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Madison, Wisconsin; and near Berkeley, California. They will involve numerous universities, national laboratories and private companies.

The centers will aim to bring new technologies to market in five years. The approach is in support of President George W. Bush's goal to cut gasoline consumption by 20 percent in 10 years.

The bioenergy centers will focus on finding naturally occurring microbes that can break down lignin, a component of plants and trees, to give access to the material inside, called cellulose. The cellulose can be converted into ethanol or other liquid fuels, like butanol and biodiesel, said Raymond Orbach, the under secretary for science at the Energy Department.

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