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U.S. domestic biofuel production sector gets $18 million funding boost

The United States is funding four innovative pilot-scale biorefineries in California, Iowa and Washington.

The Obama Administration is set on advancing biofuels technology in order to develop a domestic alternative to fossil fuels to power cars, trucks, planes and ships.

The four new biorefinary projects will be the recipients of nearly $18 million in funding to produce biofuels that meet military specifications for jet fuels and diesel.

The projects will demonstrate technologies that cost-effectively convert non-food biomass feedstocks, waste-based materials and algae into advanced drop-in biofuels.

Recipients are required to contribute a minimum of 50 percent matching funds for the projects, which will be scaled up to commercial levels.

The biggest percentage of the funding, some $6.4 million, will go to BioProcess Algae in Shenandoah, Iowa. It will evaluate an algae growth platform to produce fuels for the military as well an additional products such as glycerine and animal feed.

Frontline Bioenergy LLC will get up to $4.2 million for its project to convert woody biomass, municipal solid waste and refuse into fuel. The project will be located at the Iowa Energy Center’s Biomass Energy Conversion Facility in Nevada, Iowa.

Cobalt Technologies will get up to $2.5 million for a biorefinery to convert switchgrass to bio-jet fuel in Mountain View, California.

Mercurius Biorefining, Inc. will get up to $4.6 million to build and operate a pilot plant to convert cellulosic biomass into bio-jet fuels and chemicals in Ferndale Washington.

Domestic oil and gas production has increased each year of the Obama Administration. According to the Energy Department’s Billion Ton Study, domestically produced biofuels could displace approximately one-third of the U.S.’s current transportation petroleum use. – EcoSeed Staff

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