I. The Argument for Biofuels
II. Cellulosic Biofuels
Part I: The Argument for Biofuels
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The first segment of this presentation describes the rationale for using plant biomass as a source of fuels and presents information about how much energy could be obtained in this way. Examples of the kinds of plants that are likely to be used are presented along with comments on some of the issues, such as losses to disease and effects of various cropping systems on soil quality, that need additional research. In the second segment, the potential for various types of biofuels are compared and some of the technical challenges in production of cellulosic fuels are outlined.
In 2007, Chris Somerville became the Director of the Energy Biosciences Institute at the University of California, Berkeley where he is also a professor in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology and a visiting professor at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Prior to joining EBI, Somerville was Director of the Carnegie Institution, Department of Plant Biology, at Stanford University.
Somerville’s current research is focused on the characterization of proteins, such as cellulose synthase, implicated in plant cell wall synthesis and modification. He has published many scientific papers and patents in plant and microbial genetics, genomics, biochemistry, and biotechnology.
Somerville has served as a member of the scientific advisory boards of numerous academic institutions, corporations, and private foundations in Europe and North America. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, The Royal Society of London and the Royal Society of Canada and has received numerous scientific awards.
- Steven Chu iBioMagazine: Renewable Energy: Generation, Transmission and Storage
- Nancy Knowlton iBioEducation Lecture: Coral Reefs and Climate Change
Somerville, C.R (2007) Biofuels. Current Biology 17 (4), R115-119.
Breaking the Biological barriers to Cellulosic Ethanol. DOE/SC-0095 (2006).
Basic Research Needs for Solar Energy Utilization. Report of the basic Energy Sciences Workshop on Solar Energy Utilization, April 18-21 (2005).