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Sustainability Is Watchword for Biomass Industry

Sustainability was on the minds of many of today’s speakers at the World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing, an annual conference attracting more than 1,200 scientists, business leaders, and government officials that began in full today in Chicago.

John Heissenbuttel of Heissenbuttel Natural Resource Consulting announced a new industry initiative to ensure that advanced biofuels are produced in a sustainable manner.

Called the Council for Sustainable Biomass Production, the group is bringing together farmers, biofuel refiners, oil companies, environmental groups, biotechnology companies, government agencies and academics involved in the entire production chain of biofuels.

These different groups will establish voluntary industry standards that will ensure cellulosic biomass – dedicated fuel crops, crop residues, purpose-grown wood, and forestry residues – for biofuels are grown and harvested “in a sustainable manner, balancing economic, environmental and social imperatives.”

In setting the standards, the group is considering land use, water use, climate change, and socioeconomic impacts, according to Heissenbuttel.

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