08 June 2007 20:13 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--A new bioplastics plant is an example of the technology that will make the US less dependent on fossil fuels, energy secretary Samuel Bodman said on Friday.
Bodman made his comments during the grand-opening ceremony of a bioplastics plant built by the joint venture DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products. The plant began production in November.
The $100m (€74m) plant is capable of producing 100m lb (45,360 tonnes)/year of 1,3 propanediol (PDO). The plant uses corn to make the plastic.
"The work that will be done here is on the leading edge of a biotech revolution which, I believe, will change the way we power our trucks, our cars, our homes and our businesses," Bodman said. "We have to diversify our sources of energy in this country."
Global energy consumption will increase by 50% in the next 25 years, Bodman said.
"The competition for fossil fuels will continue to drive up prices on the world energy markets," Bodman said.
Alternatives to fossil fuels will be developed by the private sector, with help from the government, he said.
The US Department of Energy (DoE) said it will spend $200m over five years to fund up to 10 celllosic research biorefineries. The projects complement six full-scale biorefineries which will receive $385m in funding from the DoE.
Soon, the department will announce three bioenergy research centres that will receive $375m in funding, Bodman said. In addition, the department has submitted $13bn in the 2007 and 2008 budget requests that will be used to develop new fuels.
"The investments we are making now make sense from the standpoint of our national security and from the standpoint of the marketplace," he said.($1 = €0.74)
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