Perspective

The Biofuels Landscape Through the Lens of Industrial Chemistry

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Science  07 Aug 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5941, pp. 707-708
DOI: 10.1126/science.1175502

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Abstract

Replacing petroleum feedstock with biomass in the production of fuels and value-added chemicals carries considerable appeal. As in industrial chemistry more broadly, high-throughput experimentation has greatly facilitated innovation in small-scale exploration of biomass production and processing. Yet biomass is hard to transport, potentially hindering the integration of manufacturing-scale processes. Moreover, the path from laboratory breakthrough to commercial production remains as tortuous as ever.

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