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Plant Sensory Systems gets USD-1.8m grant to make beet for fuel

(SeeNews) - Dec 11, 2012 - US agricultural biotechnology company Plant Sensory Systems LLC today said it had received a USD-1.8-million (EUR 1.4m) grant from the US government to develop enhanced energy sugar beet suitable for biofuel production.

The grant from the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (APRA-E) will back a three-year programme for the development of beet varieties that have higher yield for biofuels. The company is to engineer the beets for more efficient use of fertiliser and water, resulting in a decline in production costs. It targets 30% greater production levels of fermentable sugars compared to existing feedstocks.

The new crop will result in benefits for both beet producers and biorefineries, Plant Sensory Systems' chief research officer Frank Turano said.

The company's project was chosen along with 65 other projects by the APRA-E which seeks to support research resulting in breakthrough energy technologies.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.771)

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