US Department of Energy extends biofuels research funding

05 April 2013 19:13  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--The US Department of Energy (DOE) said it will fund its three bioenergy research centers for an additional five-year period, the federal agency said on Friday. The funding is subject to continued congressional appropriations.

The three centers - including the BioEnergy Research Center (BESC) led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in partnership with Michigan State University, and the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory-were established in 2007 as a program to accelerate research breakthroughs toward the development of advanced, next-generation biofuels. 

"Developing the next generation of American biofuels will enhance our national energy security, expand the domestic biofuels industry, and produce new clean energy jobs," the agency said. "By investing in innovative approaches and technologies at our bioenergy research centers, we can continue to move the biofuels industry forward and grow our economy while reducing our reliance on foreign oil."

In five years of operation, the centers have researched new approaches for engineering non-food crops for biofuel production; reengineering of microbes to produce advanced biofuels such as "green" gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel precursors from biomass; and the development of methods to grow non-food biofuel crops on marginal lands so as not to compete with food production, according to the federal agency.

Established on the basis of a nationwide competition, each center is designed to be a large, integrated, multidisciplinary research effort, funded at the rate of $25m/year (€19m/year).

Emphasis in the next five years will be on bringing new methods and discoveries to maturity, developing new lines of research, and accelerating the transformation of scientific breakthroughs into new technologies that can transition to the marketplace.

Biodiesel is an alternative fuel, produced from renewable resources. The most commonly used feedstocks are rapeseed, soy and palm oil.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Leela Landress
+1 713 525 2653

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