With nationwide gasoline prices averaging $3.29 a gallon, research into alternative fuels — particularly biofuels — is a bigger venture than ever. Biofuel research has been around for several decades, but it stalled in the 1990s when the price of oil was low. Today, the field is booming again. In 2007, President Bush announced the goal of reducing US gasoline consumption by 20 percent in 10 years. To that end, government, industry, and academia are pouring research dollars and efforts into developing biofuels.