Historical perspective of biofuels: learning from the past to rediscover the future

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Abstract

This issue of in vitro plant is dedicated to various aspects of biofuel research and development. The editors have sought the experts in this field and solicited manuscripts for this special issue publication from various academic institutions, government (USDA, DOE), industry (Mendel, Alellyx, Canavilas, Syngenta, Monsanto), and various countries (USA, China, Brazil, India, and Australia). This has resulted in state-of-the-art articles describing ethanol and also biodiesel research. These publications highlight the status of biofuel research across the globe and also focus on private, public, and government interests. This is especially noteworthy in that President Barack Obama has stated that renewable energy is a pivotal aspect of his policy for the USA. The objective of this introduction is to provide the reader with the pertinent background information relative to the biofuel efforts within the private sector, academia, and government laboratories. In particular, the history of biofuel research and commercialization is provided as well as a summary of the various crop systems available for biofuel production.

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