California-based Mendota Bioenergy is using a $5 million state grant to construct a demonstration-scale facility that would convert energy beets to ethanol, including some cellulosic ethanol. The beets have a superior output rate to sugar cane and corn, said Jim Tischer, a project manager for Mendota. "This is an excellent re-establishment of an old crop to a new end, to make advanced biofuels," he said.

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