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Technology

$ 6.3M for biofuel research awarded by DOE, USDA


The US Department of Energy and Department of Agriculture jointly select seven biofuel feedstock research projects for a funding of $6.3 million.

A joint selection of awards for up to $6.3 million for fundamental genomics-enabled research on biofuel feedstock was announced last Wednesday (July 22) by the US departments of Energy and Agriculture. The projects will focus on the improved use of plant feedstock for biofuel production.

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Funding of $4 million for four projects will be provided by the Department of Energy (DOE) while $2.3 million for three projects will be provided by the Department of Agriculture (USDA). The allocations represent initial funding that will support the projects for three years.

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The following institutions have been awarded:

• USDA-ARS Northern Plains Area (Lincoln, NE), $1,182,000
• USDA-ARS Western Regional Research Center (Albany, CA), $1,300,000
• University of Georgia (Athens, GA), $1,200,000
• University of Georgia (Athens, GA), $705,000
• Michigan Technological University (Houghton, MI), $900,000
• University of Florida (Gainesville, FL), $643,000
• University of Nebraska (Lincoln, NE), $390,000

The grants will be awarded under the DOE-USDA program on research in biomass genomics which started in 2006. The program aims to facilitate the use of lignocellulosic materials for bioenergy and biofuels. Lignocellulosic crop plants are produced less intensively and can grow on poorer quality of land, thereby avoiding competition with crops grown for food.

"Part of the solution to the energy problem will be home-grown energy crops. These projects will help us unlock the true potential of advanced biofuels, decrease our dependence on foreign oil, and create new jobs and a thriving biofuels industry in America,” DOE Secretary Steven Chu said.

”Helping expand and diversify production of biofuels is an example of the Obama Administration’s commitment to developing a sustainable domestic biofuels industry that can help strengthen rural America while decreasing our dependence on foreign oil,” said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.


- Jen Balboa



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Reference:

1 http://www.energy.gov/news2009/7683.htm

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