Biofuels Research Gets $8.3 M from U.S. Energy and Agriculture Departments

U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman and Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced last week that the Department of Energy and the Department of Agriculture have jointly selected 11 projects for awards totaling $8.3 million for bio-based fuels research that will accelerate the development of alternative fuel resources.

These awards continue a commitment begun in 2006 to conduct fundamental research in biomass genomics that will provide the scientific foundation to facilitate and accelerate the use of woody plant tissue for bioenergy and biofuels.

“These research projects build upon DOE’s strategic investments in genomics and biotechnology and strengthen our commitment to developing a robust bioenergy future vital to America’s energy and economic security,” Secretary Bodman said.

The awards will be made through the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (OBER) in DOE’s Office of Science (SC), and USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) National Research Initiative (NRI). In this second year of the program, new research projects on cordgrass, rice, switchgrass, sorghum, poplar, and perennial grasses join the portfolio of research on poplar, alfalfa, sorghum and wheat.

“To help meet President Bush’s goal to reduce gasoline consumption by 20 percent in ten years, research and alternative fuel production needs to expand beyond corn ethanol,” Secretary Johanns said. “These grants diversify the portfolio of research by looking into new ways to develop cordgrass, rice and switchgrass in renewable energy sources.”

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