The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announce $41 million will be invested in 13 projects geared towards efficient biofuel production and feedstock improvements.
USDA and the DOE, through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI), are working towards developing economically and environmentally sustainable sources of renewable biomass as well as increasing the availability of renewable fuels and other biobased products.
The five projects focused on diversifying the nation's energy portfolio include:
- Quad County Corn Cooperative, which is retrofitting an existing corn starch ethanol plant in order to add alue to its byproducts.
- Agricultural Research Service's National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research is researching the optimization of rapeseed/canola, mustard and camelina oilseed crops for oil quality using recombinant inbred lines.
- Cooper Tier & Rubber Co. will optimize production and quality of guayule (a hardwood perennial rubber-producing shrub) rubber using genomic sequencing.
- University of Wisconsin will use dairy manure as a source of fiber and fertilizer, with the fiber being converted to ethanol, the manure for fertilizer and oil from the crops grown will be converted to biodiesel used in farm equipment.
- University of Hawaii is researching the optimization of the production of grasses in Hawaii, including napier grass, sugarcane and sweet sorghum.
Michigan Technological University and Iowa State University have also received funding from the DOE and USDA for their research in applying biomass genomics to improve biofuel feedstocks.
Read the full article to learn more about these projects.