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A majority of the award recipients have been awarded other major honors from AOCS; Johnson received the A. Richard Baldwin Award for Distinguished Service in 2008. Because he is director of both the Center for Crops Utilization Research and the BioCentury Research Farm at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, USA, it was not surprising that his award address was titled The Bioeconomy: A Revolution in American Agriculture. [...] we are in the midst of a revolution, Johnson said.
434 inform July 2010, Vol. 21 (7) Johnson receives Alton E. 2 010 PHO ENIX 101st AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo Bailey Award “With few exceptions, the Alton e. Bailey Award has gone to senior scientists with an average age over 60,” said usA section Co-chair tom Richar in his introduction of the 2010 award winner. “That fits,” laughed award recipient Lawrence A. Johnson. Richar also noted that nearly half of the Bailey awardees have been presidents of AOCS; Johnson served as AOCS president in 2004– 2005. A majority of the award recipients have been awarded other major honors from AOCS; Johnson received the A. Richard Baldwin Award for Distinguished Service in 2008. Because he is director of both the Center for Crops Utilization Research and the BioCentury Research Farm at Iowa State Uni- versity in Ames, Iowa, USA, it was not surprising that his award address was titled “The Bioeconomy: A Revolution in American Agriculture.” “The bioeconomy is the way society will obtain vital sources of carbon and energy and in the process dramatically reduce our dependence on imported petroleum,” he noted. Agriculture will make Lawrence A. Johnson (right) receives the 2010 Alton E. Bailey Award this transformation possible by providing biorenewable resources to from Bob Johnson of the USA Section during the 101st AOCS Annual produce biofuels and biobased products, he said. The motivations for Meeting & Expo. a bioeconomy include excess agricultural production, global climate change, reduced reliance on foreign cartels for energy, rural devel- 5. Corn grain alone cannot meet the US biofuels mandate—cellu- opment needs worldwide, and high petroleum prices. losic ethanol will be needed. The US Department of Energy cal- “We are in the midst of the greatest changes in agriculture since culated that the total cellulosic biomass potential in the United mechanization and hybrid corn. In fact, we are in the midst of a rev- States is in excess of 1.3 billion short tons (about 21 exajoules), olution,” Johnson said. which could supply 21% of US energy demand, or 66% of US transportation fuel. teN Key MessAges 6. It is not just about ethanol, it is about biorefineries. Johnson Johnson’s 10 key messages follow: defines “biorefinery” as “a cluster of biobased industries pro- 1. Science and engineering will make grain-based and cellulosic ducing chemicals, fuels, power, products, and materials.” Such ethanol more cost effective. Although ethanol has a positive complexes are able to shift production among products depend- (30%) renewable fuel-to-fossil energy gain, “we can do better,” ing on market prices to maximize profits, he said. he noted. 7. Do not be wedded to today’s ethanol and biodiesel—there may 2. US food has been and still is inexpensive. Media scare mes- be better biofuels. “Ethanol is not the ideal fuel due to low sages over price increases for food often are factually incorrect. energy density and tendency to absorb water,” he noted. “Many For example, Johnson showed that in 1947, food expenditures other renewable fuels are on the drawing board.” constituted 23.5% of disposable income in the United States; 8. Biofuels provide feedstock for value-added industrial chem- in 2007, that figur
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