DOE Invests $30 Million to Launch Bioenergy Research Centers

October 1, 2007

DOE announced on October 1st that it has invested nearly $30 million to accelerate the start-up of its three Bioenergy Research Centers, bringing total investment in the centers to over $400 million. The three DOE Bioenergy Research Centers are located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Madison, Wisconsin; and near Berkeley, California, and were selected in June to bring together multidisciplinary teams of scientists to advance research to make cellulosic ethanol and other biofuels commercially viable on a national scale. The additional $30 million investment allows each center to immediately begin research activities.

DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) will lead the centers, along with partners including a total of seven DOE national laboratories, 18 universities, one nonprofit organization, and a range of private companies. A major focus will be on reengineering biological processes to develop more efficient methods for converting cellulosic material including agricultural residues, grasses, poplar trees, inedible plants, and non-edible portions of crops into ethanol or other biofuels that serve as a substitute for gasoline. See the DOE press release, DOE's Genomics: GTL Web site, and the EERE press release announcing the center selection in June.