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Race for Cellulosic Fuels Spurs Brazilian Research Program

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Science  19 Feb 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5968, pp. 928-929
DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5968.928

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Brazil's $40 million National Laboratory of Bioethanol Science and Technology (CTBE), inaugurated on 22 January, represents the country's big bet to maintain its position as the world's most efficient producer of ethanol. Construction has started on a $12 million pilot plant, where scientists from across Brazil will study how to use enzymes to break down and access sugars that normally remain trapped in sugar-cane straw and processed stalks, known as bagasse. But not everyone in Brazil is convinced by the new cellulosic push; some say the first-generation technology still has space to improve.