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NSF funds research at Illinois on sustainable biofuels infrastructure
Date:10/27/2008

hipments, would add a lot of truck loads to the roads."

"The increase in truck loading and traffic will affect the service life of our roads," said Al-Qadi, who directs the Illinois Center for Transportation. "This must be accounted for as part of a holistic model that considers the economic impact of biofuels."

Social factors, such as competition over water or the promise of new jobs, also will play a major role in ensuring the success or failure of the biofuels industry, Gasteyer said.

In addition to analyzing the overall sustainability of the biofuels infrastructure system, the researchers will model the dynamic interplay of all these factors to help understand the resiliency of such a complex system. Coupled models from different fields will allow them to test various scenarios, to see which components are most critical and how the whole system is affected by a particular extreme event, such as a drought.

"Will this biofuel economy be viable or not?" Cai said. "Our research will provide an integrated framework for addressing that question from a perspective of engineering infrastructure, as well as environmental and social impacts."


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Contact: Diana Yates
diya@illinois.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert  

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