Lawmaker promotes production of ethanol from straws

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A Chinese lawmaker said on Saturday more efforts should be made to promote the production of straw-turned ethanol amid the nation's drive to develop a low-carbon economy.

Li Rongjie, a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, said the country could potentially produce 1.2 billion tons of dry cellulosic biomass per year, which has the energy content of 400 million tons of crude oil.

Five to six tons of corn straw could be made into one ton of ethanol at a cost of no more than 7,500 yuan (1,098 U.S. dollars), equivalent to the retail price of gasoline, he said on the sidelines of the NPC annual session.

"It is time to promote industrial production," Li said.

Li suggested the government offer subsidies and policy incentives for enterprises engaged in such business to speed up the industrialization of the cellulosic ethanol production.

The United States invested more than 2 billion U.S. dollars in the research and development of cellulosic ethanol last year, he added.

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