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Mar 24, 2010

Netherlands & Belgium - Joint Initiative Successfully Produce Biofuel from GM Poplar Trees

Bio Base Europe reports that a joint initiative between the Netherlands and Belgium is successfully producing biofuel from second generation gene-modified (GM) poplar trees. The GM poplar trees were produced by the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology. The project is based in Ghent, Belgium and is funded with €21 million from Biopark Terneuzen and Ghent Bio-Energy.

The GM poplar trees were developed by Professor Wout Boerjan at the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology. They are engineered to produce less lignin, a factor that facilitates the bioethanol production process. The first GM poplars were planted in May 2009. They have now been harvested and are ready for conversion into bioethanol at the Bio Base Europe Plant in Ghent.

The Bio Base Europe Plant in Ghent is engineered to convert different types of biomass into biofuel. In addition to GM poplars, this includes wheat straw, corn cobs and wood. It “is a one-stop-shop that performs the entire value chain in a single plant, from the biomass green resource up to the final product.”

Photo Credit: Department of Botany, University of Washington.
For more see: "Second-generation biofuels from genetically-modified poplar trees," Renewable Energy Magazine, 24 March 2010.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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