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Danforth Science Center receives $25 million from Enterprise

By Adam Allington, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis is the recipient of a 25 million dollar grant to speed up development of renewable biofuels.

The money comes from Enterprise Rent-A-Car company and will endow funding for some 30 scientists focused on biofuel research.

Robert Rose, a spokesman for the Danforth Center, says the new institute will position St. Louis as a leader in alternative fuel innovation.

"By having an institute specifically focused on basic research that will improve biofuel production," says Rose, "we'll attract some of the best and brightest scientific minds and entrepreneurial opportunities that otherwise wouldn't exist."

Rose says the teams immediate priority will be to find ways of boosting yields of both corn and soy production.

"We're going to be looking at ways we can improve yield and then also modify the corn and soy so that it can be used in a way that may not necessarily be good for food production but will be specifically good for ethanol or biodiesel."

Some studies claim that cultivating corn for ethanol is actually a net energy loss when factoring fuel used for cultivation and transportation.