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The UW receives a $40 million grant to explore turning woody biomass—mainly poplar trees—into biogasoline and aviation fuel
December 13, 2011

Poplar trees grow big and fast. They make great privacy screens, and poplar wood is used to make chopsticks and even the backs of stringed instruments like the viola. Now imagine this: within the next few years, the jet you take from Seattle to New York may be running on poplar-based jet fuel.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded the University of Washington a $40 million grant to turn woody biomass—mainly poplar trees—into biogasoline and renewable aviation fuel. The grant will help develop a biofuels industry in the Pacific Northwest, western Montana and northern California. Until now, the Midwest has dominated the biofuels industry by producing ethanol made from corn.