U.S. Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

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DOE Announces Awards for up to $16.5 million for Biomass Research and Development

September 8, 2010

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today the investment of up to $16.5 million for two major research and development (R&D) initiatives that will support the expansion of renewable transportation fuels production. The first initiative will invest up to $12 million over three years for four projects to advance technologies for the thermochemical conversion of biomass into advanced biofuels that are compatible with existing fueling infrastructure. The second initiative provides up to $4.5 million for three projects that support research focused on designing landscapes that produce bioenergy feedstock while protecting air, soil, water, and wildlife resources and enhancing ecosystem services. These biomass R&D initiatives continue to strengthen the Department's efforts to accelerate development and deployment of sustainable, renewable biofuels in order to significantly reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

"Developing cost-effective renewable transportation fuels is a key component of DOE's strategy to reduce green house gas emissions and move the nation toward energy independence," said Secretary Chu. "These innovative projects will help America develop a clean, sustainable transportation sector while spurring the creation of jobs in the domestic bio-industry."

Advanced Biofuels Technology Development: Up to $12 million

These investments are for further R&D of thermochemical conversion catalysts and processes that will produce gasoline, diesel, and/or jet fuel from biomass. Each selectee will utilize a thermochemical process known as pyrolysis, which breaks down biomass using heat in the absence of oxygen to produce a bio-oil. This bio-oil has shown potential to be refined and used in current infrastructure and vehicles.

The projects selected for funding are:

Sustainable Bioenergy Feedstock Production: Up to $4.5 million

These projects will take important steps to help design, model, and implement sustainable biomass production systems across different regions of the country, looking at a variety of feedstocks and critical factors like soil erosion and water quality. With sustainable production and processing, the nation's vast agricultural and forest biomass resources have the potential to provide a source of liquid transportation fuels, as well as biopower and bioproducts.

The projects selected for funding are:

The Department of Energy's Biomass Program works with industry, academia, and our national laboratory partners on a balanced portfolio of research in biomass feedstocks and conversion technologies. To learn more about the program, visit the Biomass Web site.

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Content Last Updated: 01/25/2010