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Keywords:

  • biofuels;
  • bio-based products;
  • bioenergy crops;
  • US Midwest agriculture

Abstract

Corn grain ethanol production is a mature industry built on a Midwestern agricultural infrastructure. Second- and third-generation biofuels and bio-based products industries could take advantage of this robust framework. Significant but not insurmountable barriers remain for grower acceptance of bioenergy crop plants and capital investment in transitioning from grain to lignocellulosic biomass at scale. The existing infrastructure in the Midwest provides a model for implementing an environmentally responsible and sustainable next-generation biofuels industry into the agro-economy. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd