Thanks to a combination of more federal money and economic pressures, researchers believe they are on the brink of breakthrough discoveries in the search for alternative fuels. "This is very new chemistry, so there's a lot of low-hanging fruit," says scientist Dean Dibble of the Joint BioEnergy Institute. Another factor behind the burst in biofuel research: major financial support from the oil industry. "I can't quite call this a Manhattan Project or compare it to the '60s space program, but it's rapidly approaching those points," says Sean O'Hanlon, executive director of the American Biofuels Council in Miami.
Published in Brief: