Finding cost-effective and environmentally-sustainable ways to provide energy is arguably the largest single technological challenge ever faced by society. To meet this challenge, the United States has established aggressive goals to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and imported oil for the sake of the American economy, national security and the global environment.
Bioenergy is among the most promising areas for exploration, but realizing this potential requires fundamental scientific breakthroughs that permit renewable energy production using sustainable practices to produce a combination of food, fiber and fuel.
Cellulosic biofuels could substantially reduce oil consumption, help cut overall carbon dioxide emissions and usher in a new green economy.
The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 is a critical driver for the sustainable development of renewable biofuels. As part of EISA, the Renewable Fuel Standard mandates that 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels are to be produced by 2022, of which 16 billion gallons are expected to come from cellulosic feedstocks.