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Study: Biofuel regulations should change

July 21, 2011 at 5:19 PM

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., July 21 (UPI) -- The commercial success of biofuels that hold a promise of enhancing U.S. energy security and reducing greenhouse gas will need regulatory changes, a study says.

University of Illinois researchers argue regulatory innovations are needed to keep pace with technological innovations in the biofuels industry.

"Getting regulatory approval for new biofuels is currently a time-consuming and costly process," UI law Professor Jay P. Kesan said.

"By removing some of the uncertainty and some of the expense without compromising on the regulatory concerns, you are also removing some of the disincentives to entering the biofuel market, where we need more competition."

In a study, Kesan and Timothy A. Slating of the UI Energy Biosciences Institute focused on biobutanol, an emerging biofuel similar to ethanol with potential as a viable alternative to petroleum-based fuels, a university release said Thursday

Research has shown biobutanol is compatible with both existing vehicle engines and existing fuel distribution infrastructure.

"Since biobutanol can help us meet the (federal) Renewable Fuel Standard's mandates much more quickly and effectively, it makes good economic and policy sense to line up our regulatory processes to facilitate its commercialization," Kesan said.

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