Biofuel production in the U.S. has garnered increasing attention since the 1990s due to a national interest in energy independence and potential impacts of fossil-fuel-related climate change. Switchgrass, a grass native to the Midwestern United States, improves soil quality, stores carbon deep in the soil, and provides habitat for birds. Increasing the production of biofuel from switchgrass may possibly decrease carbon emissions, increase carbon sequestration, and improve rural economies. In this talk, I will summarize the current social, technological, and logistical impediments to second generation biofuel production. I will then examine the role of uncertainty, both political and economic, and its role in the second generation biofuels industry.
Speaker: Kelsey Forbush, UC Santa Cruz
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