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American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- April 22, 2009
Date:4/26/2009

and Engineering
Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan
Email: jiro_abe@chem.aoyama.ac.jp


ARTICLE #5 EMBARGOED FOR 9 A.M., EASTERN TIME, April 27, 2009

Potholes on the road to ethanol from crop waste rather than food crops
Chemical & Engineering News

Those highly publicized efforts to produce ethanol fuel from wheat straw, corn cobs, and other crop waste rather than food crops appear to be stalling as biofuel companies face mounting difficulties bringing it to the marketplace. That's according to an article scheduled for the April 27 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, ACS' weekly newsmagazine.

C&EN senior business editor Melody Voith explains in the magazine's cover story that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in 2007 selected six "cellulosic ethanol" projects for up to $385 million in grants. The project's goal was to reduce America's reliance on foreign oil and make ethanol cost-competitive with gasoline by 2012. But construction has started on only one of the projects, with two cancelled outright, the article notes.

The biggest roadblock involves difficulty in scaling-up production from the small quantities of bioethanol that can be produced in the lab to the millions of gallons needed for commercial use. Other hurdles: Obtaining sufficient raw materials for commercial-scale production, financing construction costs in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and securing stable markets for bioethanol. Nevertheless, DOE managers express confidence that the emerging bioethanol industry can surmount these problems.

ARTICLE #5 EMBARGOED FOR 9 A.M., EASTERN TIME, April 27, 2009
"Cellulosic Scale-Up"

This story will be available on April 27 at http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/87/8717cover.html

FOR ADVANCE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
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Contact: Michael Woods
m_woods@acs.org
202-872-6293
American Chemical Society
Source:Eurekalert  

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