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Renewable biofuels have traditionally been made from crops, like corn, sugarcane and soy. This approach has limitations. However, recent technology advancements have made it possible to make biofuels, called cellulosic biofuels, from inedible biomass — all the stems, stalks and leaves of plants.
Our energy crops maximize the amount of biomass that can be grown per acre. Right now, the greatest attention is on ethanol, but our energy crops could also be processed into a number of alternative fuels.
With caps on corn starch-based ethanol at 15 billion gallons per year, new cellulosic sources must be tapped. The Energy Act of 2007 calls for a minimum of 44% of alternative fuels to be cellulosic by 2022.