The Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) on Wednesday jointly awarded nine grants totaling $5.7 million for biobased fuels research that will accelerate the development of alternative fuel resources.
"These research projects build upon the DOE's strategic investments in genomics, to accelerate scientific discovery and promote the development of alternative energy sources vital to America's energy and economic security," said Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman.
"To be a reliable renewable energy source, farmers and ranchers will need to be able to grow biomass in large quantities," Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said. "This joint research initiative will address our nation's need for alternative energy resources and improve the efficiency with which biomass and plant feedstocks are used to produce renewable fuels such as ethanol."
USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) and DOE's Office of Biological and Environmental Research (OBER) awarded the grants. CSREES and OBER jointly initiated this fundamental research program to facilitate the use of woody plant tissue, specifically lignocellulosic materials, for bioenergy or biofuels. The research projects will focus on poplar, alfalfa, sorghum, wheat and other grasses.
The awards have been given to:
Purdue University, Ind., $1.4 million
The Noble Foundation, Okla., $800,000
Texas A&M University, Texas, $800,000
USDA-Agricultural Research Service, University of Wisconsin, $333,000
Carnegie Institute of Washington, $359,100
Brookhaven National Laboratory, N.Y., $300,000
North Carolina State University, $700,000
Kansas State University, $700,000
University of Georgia, $445,000.