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UC Berkeley Web Feature

EBI director's talk on demystifying cellulosic biofuels can been seen on YouTube

– Not all fuels are created equal, and by many important measures neither are all biofuels, Chris Somerville, the director of the new Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI), told an audience at UC Berkeley on Feb. 27.

In a talk that can be seen on YouTube, Somerville discussed the research goal of developing second and third-generation biofuels that have major environmental and economic advantages over today's corn-based ethanol.

Somerville also offered an overview of the planet's current and predicted energy needs and of options for "decarbonizing" the energy supply to address global warming. By a variety of measures - land use, environmental impact, economic viability, and technical feasibility - cellulosic biofuels, made by breaking down the cell walls of plants and extracting the sugars, are one of the most promising energy options on the research horizon, he said.

The hour-long lecture, richly illustrated with slides, was sponsored by the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS).