02 May 2007 00:14 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--The US Department of Energy said on Tuesday it will spend $200m (€146m) over five years to fund up to ten cellulosic research biorefineries for ethanol and bio-based chemicals.
The programme is intended to help jump-start cellulosic research. The department said it is seeking research applicants who can share funding on a 50:50 basis toward successful demonstration of cellulosic biorefineries at one-tenth commercial scale.
The department said these small-scale projects are meant to discover and develop novel approaches, a variety of cellulosic feedstocks and new refining processes.
This research funding follows the award earlier this year of $385m for the development of six full-scale biorefineries using current cellulosic production technology.
"The full-scale biorefineries focus on near-term commercial processes," the department said, "while the small-scale facilities will experiment with new feedstocks and processing technologies."
These small-scale projects are expected to be operational within four years and will speed the adoption of new technologies to produce ethanol and bio-based chemicals from cellulosic feedstocks, the department said. Commercial-scale demonstrations would follow.
Current US ethanol production is based wholly on corn as a feedstock. Cellulosic-based biofuels would use non-food agricultural waste such as corn stover, wheat chaff, wood chips, grasses or other inedible plant life as feedstocks.
The department said it is seeking small-scale cellulosic project concepts that can be ramped up quickly to commercial scale and which are supported by a sound business strategy. The deadline for applications is 14 August 2007.($1 = €0.73)
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections