May 18 (Reuters) – After a decade of promise, advanced biofuels makers are entering a crucial make-or-break period with the first of a new generation of production facilities about to come on line.
The new facilities are designed to take biofuels beyond corn-based ethanol and begin to shift the industry to “advanced” fuels made with a lower carbon footprint derived from products that will not compete with demand for food.
Many of the companies are turning to cellulosic plant materials, animal waste and plant oils to churn out millions of gallons of ethanol, diesel, jet fuel or components for gasoline.
Driving the industry are U.S. government targets stretching out a decade that call for fuel suppliers to blend billions of gallons of the new biofuels into the U.S. gasoline and diesel pools, on top of the corn ethanol that already makes up about 10 percent of the gasoline market.
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