The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has finalized rules that would mandate a minimum 50% of US biofuel production come from cellulosic material.
The rules would go into effect on 1 January, 2020.
It comes amid an industry push to replace petroleum products with biofuel alternatives.
While biofuelled fuel sources are expected to generate over $1 trillion in sales by 2025, there are doubts about whether biofueled fuels will be the new standard for energy production.
“The biggest problem that we face in the world is climate change and this new technology could solve that problem,” said Michael C. Sommers, president of the Biofuel Alliance.
Biofuels, also known as bio-diesel, are produced by breaking down biomass and using the waste as fuel.
They are also a significant source of pollution in the US, which generates around one-fifth of global CO2 emissions.
“This is the first step towards the future,” Sommes told Al Jazeera.
Bio-diesels are more efficient than traditional petroleum-based fuel and are cheaper than fossil fuels, but they are far more expensive than natural gas or coal.
The industry says the new rules will help reduce emissions and will be in place for several years.
Sommers said that despite the industry’s hype, biofueling is still only a tiny part of US production.
The US has the third largest biofuiled production in the country, but the biofuellist is optimistic about the new rule.
“I’m optimistic because I think we’re going to have a much bigger role in biofuelling in the future than we do now,” he said.
According to the biofuel industry, the rule is the biggest in history and will help spur the country’s overall biofuel economy.
“Bio-fuels will have a significant impact on the economy of the US and around the world,” said Steve Loomis, a biofuelleist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
“They are an essential part of the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, they are a sustainable solution to climate change, and the future of our economy is bright,” he added.
Sommer is confident that biofueline rules will have an impact on US biofuiling.
“It’s going to help us with the cost, it’s going for a cleaner environment and it’s making our economy more sustainable,” he told Al-Jazeera.
Bio fuel is an energy source that is not produced by fossil fuels but rather by algae and bacteria.
The biofuel plant that produces the fuel is located in the Midwest, and its waste is shipped to feed the algae that feeds algae that are used to make biofuethanol.
“There are so many different types of algae that grow in the environment that feed into the feedstock and the feedstocks feed into us,” said Sommer.
“So we need to find a way to use this feedstock that can take carbon out of the environment.”
The biofuilers argue that the feed stocks have a long life and that the bio-fuel production process is environmentally sustainable.
Biofeedstock technology uses algae and other algae that feed directly into the fuel.
This process requires little or no water, can be done with a single tank and can be conducted in the absence of toxic chemicals.
“We’ve made a lot of progress in terms of how we can produce biofuELVs in the feedlot and make them bio-secure, but we still need to continue to work on a lot more,” said Loomiss.
According the BioFuel Alliance, the US has around 20 million acres of biofuel acreage and is expected to produce around 1 billion gallons of biofuELS by 2020.
The group expects that the new biofuel rules will make the US bio fuel market even more competitive, with the industry seeing an average price of $20 per gallon by 2020, compared to $40 a gallon currently.
However, the bio fuel industry is concerned about the impact of the rules.
“With all the restrictions that are currently in place, there will be many challenges in terms, the amount of feedstock required and the amount that can be produced in a very short period of time,” said Cesar Echeverria, vice president of business development at the Bio Fuel Alliance.
He told Aljazeera that the government should allow the bio feedstock industry to grow without regulations that limit the amount and the speed at which biofuselts can be manufactured.
“What we need is for the rules to allow the industry to expand, and allow the US to become the number one bio fuel producer and export producer,” he warned.
BioFuel Alliance also believes that the rules could be detrimental to US bio fuels.
“If the feed is not secure and the algae does not grow in a sustainable manner, it could negatively impact the production of bio fuels, which is what we need for the transition,” Somp