Representatives of the biomass energy industry have gathered in St. Louis this week.
They're here to discuss technologies for turning everything from crop residues to municipal trash into liquid fuels, heat, and electricity.
Tim Portz is the program director for BBI international, the company organizing the International Biomass Conference & Expo.
He says it's not going to be easy for the biomass industry to gain a foothold in the marketplace of already established U.S. energy producers.
Monsanto is entering a multi-year research collaboration with San Diego-based Sapphire Energy.
Sapphire specializes in genetically-engineering algae with the goal of producing drop-in replacements for fuels like gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.
The collaboration between Sapphire and Monsanto will focus on identifying genes that positively affect growth in algae and that might also increase agricultural crop yields.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Thursday that it has decided to allow unrestricted commercial planting of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa.
The alfalfa has been genetically-engineered to tolerate the herbicide glyphosate, known commercially as Roundup.
St. Louis Public Radio is a service of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.