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UK Invests 27 million pounds in Biofuel Research

The United Kingdom government and 15 different businesses across the country decided to invest nearly 27 million pounds ($38.10 million) in alternative biofuels that do not rely on food. UK's biggest ever investment in bioenergy will be directed to six centers that will research new methods to replace traditional power sources, such as petrol in cars, Reuters wrote today. The new fuels will be based on willow, straw and other non-food crops, the source added quoting government sources.

Britain's Science Minister Lord Paul Drayson said that such an alternative source of power is a must have during difficult economic times, especially because it is capable of providing reduced CO2 emissions with almost the same output capacity.

"The challenge for biofuels is whether we can make the fuels sustainable and efficient enough," Lord Paul Drayson was quoted as saying by Reuters. "So in this sense this is a very smart investment and addressing a demand that is already there."

Reuters says the United Kingdom plans to increase the use of food crops such as wheat, maize, sugar cane and vegetable oils to produce biofuels, a method that would allow the country to cut gas emissions. The European Parliament previously mentioned that 10 percent of EU transport fuel should come from alternative and less-polluting sources by 2020.

At this time, the Rothansted Research institute is already producing biofuels from food crops but this efforts may continue within research centers around Britain, the government said.

"At the moment we make biofuels from food crops. This diverts crops from the food chain and it takes intensive energy to grow the crops,” Angela Karp a scientist working at the Rothamsted Research, one of the six centers that received government funds, told Reuters.


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