Biotechnology Is Key To Sustainable Production of Biofuels

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Thursday, March 06, 2008) - Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) Executive Vice President, Industrial & Environmental Section, Brent Erickson, speaking today at an event titled “Sustainable Development of Advanced Biofuels for the 21st Century” held in conjunction with the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference 2008 (WIREC 2008), released the following statement:

“Industrial biotechnology has greatly enhanced the efficiency of current biofuel production and made it possible to produce advanced biofuels from a broader range of cellulosic feedstocks, including dedicated energy crops. Biotechnology companies have developed enzymes that require less heat and increase the efficiency of biofuel production, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These companies are also rapidly improving enzymes that will make cellulosic ethanol production cost-effective.

“Rapid advances in industrial biotechnology are bringing next-generation biofuels closer to reality. Researchers are using life-science tools – including synthetic biology – to create novel microbes capable of converting renewable resources and cellulosic biomass into advanced biofuels, such as biobutanol and biobased hydrocarbons.

“With agricultural biotechnology, farmers can continue to increase yields of crops to meet the demands for food, feed and fuel. Over the past 10 years, agricultural biotechnology has helped U.S. farmers increase yields by 30 percent, a rate of yield increase that will be sufficient to meet the goals of the new renewable fuel standard. And agricultural biotechnology companies are researching energy crops that can be grown sustainably on marginal lands, both improving the soil and reducing competition with food and feed crops.

“Additionally, farmers can reduce operating costs, prevent soil erosion, maintain soil fertility, and harvest crop residues as raw materials for advanced biofuels through adoption of no-till agriculture. In many cases no-till practices can even result in carbon sequestration within agricultural soil.”

The recent BIO report, “Achieving Sustainable Production of Agricultural Biomass for Biorefinery Feedstock,” outlines how farmers can produce, harvest and deliver sufficient feedstock to the growing biorefinery industry in an economically and environmentally sustainable way through increased use of no-till agriculture. The report is available at

For more information about sustainable production of biofuels, climate change, and advanced biofuels, please visit the Advanced Biofuels and Climate Change Information Center at

Erickson is speaking at the following session at WIREC 2008:

Sustainable Development of Advanced Biofuels for the 21st Century
                        Thurs. March 6 from 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST.
                        Room 149B
                        Washington Convention Center

Upcoming BIO Events

 ·   Partnering for Global Health  
    March 10-12, 2008
    Washington, DC

 ·   BIO-Europe Spring 
    April 7-9, 2008
    Madrid, Spain

 ·   BIO National Venture Conference 
    April 22-23, 2008
    Boston, Mass.

 ·   World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology & Bioprocessing  
    April 27-30, 2008
    Chicago, Ill.

 ·   2008 BIO International Convention 
    June 17-20, 2008
    San Diego, Calif.


About BIO

BIO represents more than 1,150 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology technologies. BIO also produces the annual BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.