July 26, 2012
US funds $41 million in biofuels research and deployment
Published in Platts
The US government will pump another $41 million into 13 biofuel research and deployment projects under several programs aimed at boosting supplies of biomass feedstock and more efficiently processing that into usable fuels, the Obama administration announced Wednesday.
The departments of Agriculture and Energy will together provide $31 million under the joint Biomass Research and Development Initiative to five projects to improve processing of biofeedstocks, such as camelina seeds, the secretions of a hardwood shrub and dairy cow manure.
In addition, the agencies will provide $10 million under the Plant Feedstocks Genomics for Bioenergy research program to eight projects that intend to improve feedstocks by studying their genetic makeup.
"If we want to develop affordable alternatives for oil and gasoline that will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil, we need investments like these projects to spur innovation in bioenergy," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.
Among the projects, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will receive $7 million for a project that will turn manure into ethanol and fertilizer, and the fertilizer used on crops that will produce biofuel to power farm machinery.
Also, Findlay, Ohio-based Cooper Tire & Rubber Company will get $6.85 million to improve the quality and production of rubber from guayule, a southwestern US shrub. While the rubber will be used for tires, the company will study whether other residues produced with the rubber from the plant can be used as a biofuel feedstock.