DOE and Agriculture Department Fund Biomass Research Initiative

April 27, 2011

Photo of a tall, slender wild plant.

Potential sources of advanced biofuels from plants like the prairie cordgrass will get a boost from a joint DOE-USDA project.
Credit: USDA

DOE and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) jointly announced on April 15 up to $30 million over three to four years that will support research and development in advanced biofuels, bioenergy, and high-value bio-based products. The projects funded through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative will help create a diverse group of economically and environmentally sustainable sources of renewable biomass and will increase the availability of alternative renewable fuels and bio-based products. Advanced biofuels produced from these projects are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 50% compared to fossil fuels.

Applicants seeking funding under this initiative in Fiscal Year 2011 must propose projects that integrate science and engineering research in one of three technical areas that are critical to the broader success of alternative biofuels production. Those areas are feedstock development; biofuels and bio-based products development, especially in support of cost-effective technologies to increase the use of cellulosic biomass in the production of biofuels; and biofuels development analysis using analytic tools that improve the sustainability among other qualities for renewable biomass technologies, as well as developing new tools to evaluate the impact of expanded biofuel production on the environment. Subject to annual appropriations, USDA plans to invest up to $25 million with DOE contributing up to $5 million for this year's Biomass Research and Development Initiative. This funding is expected to support five to ten projects over three to four years. See the DOE press release, a grant description on Grants.gov, the full description on FedConnect, the Biomass Program website, and the Biomass Initiative website.