One hundred acres of sugar cane planted across from an Alabama state prison could help determine whether Air Force jets one day fly with sugar in their tanks. Amyris Biotechnologies of Emeryville, Calif., sees the small field in Alabama as "the start of acreage we need to get into production." The company says the hydrocarbons created through sugar fermentation have the same molecular structure as today's petroleum fuels. Amyris hopes to produce 100 million gallons a year of cane-based fuel by 2012.

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