$23 Million Grants for U.S. Biomass

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have unveiled the selection of 19 projects that will receive US$23 million for biomass research, development and demonstration projects.

Washington, D.C. – September 9, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] “The conversion of biomass into biobased products, fuels and energy offers significant benefits to the nation through healthier rural economies, improved environmental quality and improved energy independence,” said Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman. “These grants will help develop additional renewable energy resources and expand markets for agricultural products.” The joint grant program is part of the DOE’s effort to increase America’s energy independence through the development of additional renewable energy resources from the agricultural and agroforestry sectors. Biomass is defined as organic matter that is available on a renewable or recurring basis. “This Administration is committed to the development of a next-generation of biorefineries that serve the nation by producing cost-competitive biobased industrial products and transportation fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel,” said Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham. “The development of the biomass industry and biobased products will have a tremendous economic impact on rural America.” The 2002 Farm Bill allocated $75 million to the USDA over six years to fund research, development and demonstration projects under the Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000. The legislation established a governing board co-chaired by USDA and DOE. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy coordinated efforts to issue a joint solicitation that is awarding nearly $16 million in USDA funding and more than $7 million from DOE appropriations. About 400 proposals were received requesting more than $370 million. All eligible proposals were competitively evaluated in a three-step process that included a joint USDA-DOE technical merit review, cost analysis and review under the respective independent priorities of the departments as published in the solicitation. Following is a list of the 19 selected projects and the dollar amount funded. DOE Projects: Trustees of Dartmouth (Hanover, New Hampshire) — Integration of Leading Biomass Pretreatment Technologies with Enzymatic Digestion and Hydrolyzate Fermentation — $1,882,866 University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida) — Engineering Thermotolerant Biocatalysts for Biomass Conversion to Products — $1,437,620 PureVision Technology, Inc. (Fort Lupton, Colorado) — Demonstration of the PureVision Biorefinery — $2,000,000 Cargill, Inc. (Minneapolis, Minnesota) — Platform Chemicals from an Oilseed Biorefinery — $1,877,176 USDA Projects: Metabolix, Inc. (Cambridge, Massachusetts) — Advanced Biorefinery Feedstocks — $2,000,000 Utah State University (Logan, Utah) — Research and Demonstration of Anaerobic System on a Large Dairy Farm — $761,385 Earth Resources, Inc. (Carnesville, Geiorgia) — Animal Waste Management-Chicken Litter to Energy –$1,136,936 West Central Cooperative (Ralston, Iowa) — New Technologies for Production of Methyl Esters — $1,199,646 Clemson University (Clemson, South Carolina) — Heterogeneous Catalyst Development for Biodiesel Synthesis — $894,203 New Energy Solutions, Inc. (Pittsfield, Massachusetts) — Design and Demonstration of a Commercial Prototype for Onsite Production of High Purity Hydrogen from Farm Animal Wastes – $204,603 Archer Daniels Midland Company (Quincy, Illinois/ Decatur, Indiana) — Biomass Research and Development for the Production of Fuels, Chemicals, and Improved Cattle Feed — $1,400,000 GrainValue, LLC (Saint Paul, Minnesota) — GrainValue Process: Pre-Commercialization Trials — $1,763,160 Pennsylvania State University (University Park, Pennylvania) — Coupled Processes for Bioenergy Production: Biological Hydrogen Linked with Microbial Fuel Cells – $610,913 Iowa State University (Ames, Iowa) — Biopolymers and Other Value-Added Products from Distillers’ Dried Grains — $1,000,000 Local Energy (Tesuque, New Mexico) — Biomass-Fired District Energy: A Source of Economic Development and Energy Security — $1,286,768 Vermont’s Alternative Energy Corporation (Willston, Vermont) — Steps Towards a Biorefinery Industry in Vermont — $746,912 Texas Agricultural Experiment Station (College Station, Texas) — Biomass for Tomorrow’s Energy and Greenhouse Gas Management Needs: An Economic, Engineering and Environmental Appraisal of Opportunities and Policies — $716,388 Sebesta, Blomberg & Associates, Inc. (Roseville, Minnesota) — Biomass Cogeneration Demonstration Plant at Central Minnesota Ethanol Cooperative — $2,000,000 T.R. Miles Technical Consultants, Inc. (Portland, Oregon) — Feasibility of an Integrated System for Improving the Economic and Environmental Performance of Poultry and Ethanol Production in North Alabama — $254,274
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