Biofuel Research Focus of Colorado State University Symposium April 11-12

Researchers and faculty from across Colorado State University will come together to discuss the production and ramifications of the emerging biofuel markets during the 2007 research colloquium called "BioFuels: Challenges and Opportunities" April 11-12 at the Hilton Hotel in Fort Collins.

Developing a sustainable energy program that satisfies our needs while minimizing negative impacts on the environment and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels has emerged as one of the major challenges of the 21st century, said Daniel Bush, professor and chairman of the Department of Biology at Colorado State, who organized the symposium. Using biomass as a renewable source of biofuels to help meet energy needs has emerged as a potential solution.

Technical breakthroughs are needed in a variety of areas before biofuels have a substantial impact on energy use and global climate change, Bush said. The goal of the biofuels symposium is to highlight current research activity and catalyze new initiatives in biofuels research at Colorado State.

"We are at the threshold of beginning a lot of research and work on biofuel production," Bush said. "Colorado State University already has the necessary tools – experts in agriculture, plant biotechnology, engineering, environmental science – to make breakthrough contributions in the advancement of biofuel energy production."

Substantial investments in biofuel research and production are being made across the nation, and Colorado State has seen recent success in collaborative funding with state agencies and private industry through the new Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels, dubbed C2B2, which was announced March 19. Ken Reardon, professor and associate department head in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, will serve as Colorado State’s liaison to the center.

Speakers for the symposium include more than 15 Colorado State faculty members who will discuss technical challenges and opportunities concerning biomass production, use, and environmental and economic sustainability. The colloquium is designed to benefit investigators with research activities that could be applied to biofuels but have not received biofuels funding as well as researchers with established biofuels programs.

More than 80 Colorado State researchers and faculty are expected to participate in the symposium. The event is sponsored by Office of the Vice President for Research at Colorado State. Individuals at energy, agriculture, and investment companies interested in learning more about research activities in biofuels are also welcome to attend.

For more information on the event, visit online at