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Maize-Based Biofuels: Legal and Regulatory Issues in the US


Jay P. Kesan


University of Illinois College of Law

Timothy A. Slating


University of Illinois Energy Biosciences Institute

November 17, 2011


Abstract:     
Legal and regulatory frameworks play an increasingly important role in the successful deployment of maize-based biofuels and biotechnology innovations. Through legal and regulatory regimes, the federal government incentivizes biofuel-related research and development, mandates the commercialization of biofuels, controls the lawful commercialization of biofuels, and provides a means to protect intellectual property associated with biofuels and their feedstocks. In this Chapter, we take a thorough look at the main legal and regulatory frameworks affecting the commercialization of maize-based biofuels and biotechnology innovation. First, we address the role of the federal Clean Air Act in not only governing the lawful commercialization of biofuels, but also in controlling their lawful blending limits. Second, we discuss federal biofuel-related mandates, incentives, and grants, with a primary focus on the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2). Finally, we will address the options for the legal protection of intellectual property rights associated with maize-based biotechnology innovations. Throughout the Chapter, we focus on three main categories of maize-based biofuels: (1) ethanol derived from cornstarch; (2) butanol derived from cornstarch (“biobutanol”); and (3) biofuels (whether ethanol or butanol) derived from the cellulosic components of the maize plant.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 21

Keywords: Maize, Biofuels, Biofuel Blending, Biofuel Feedstock, Biofuel Mandates, Biofuel Incentives, Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2), Intellectual Property, Plant Variety Protection


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Date posted: February 10, 2012 ; Last revised: March 11, 2014

Suggested Citation

Kesan, Jay P. and Slating, Timothy A., Maize-Based Biofuels: Legal and Regulatory Issues in the US (November 17, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2002143 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2002143

Contact Information

Jay P. Kesan
University of Illinois College of Law ( email )
504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
United States
217-333-7887 (Phone)
217-244-1478 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.jaykesan.com

Timothy A. Slating (Contact Author)
University of Illinois Energy Biosciences Institute ( email )
2122 Institute for Genomic Biology
1206 W. Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61801
United States
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