Biofuels Grants Announced At Renewable Energy Conference

Secretaries Bodman and Johanns kicked off the Renewable Energy Conference with $17.5 million for Biofuels Research & Development grants.

Secretary Bodman of the Department of Energy (DOE) and Secretary Johanns of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) kicked off the Renewable Energy Conference by announcing $17.5 million in grants for Biofuels Research & Development.

The funding was announced Wednesday at the Advancing Renewable Energy, a conference aimed at furthering the Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI). The grants are intended to develop technologies necessary to help make bio-based fuels cost-competitive with fossil fuels in the commercial market. 

Under the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, a joint USDA-DOE effort established in 2000 and reauthorized in the comprehensive Energy Policy Act of 2005, award projects must demonstrate collaboration among experts in the field of biomass. 

The conference goals include identifying major issues such as partnership opportunities facing decision makers both within government and in the private sector, as well as identifying new ways to improve deployment of renewable energy technologies. Attendees will also be examining policy incentives such as tax credits and loan guarantees for companies developing alternative fuels.

The following entities have been selected as grant recipients:

Edenspace Systems Corp (VA) - $ 1,926,900
Grant Purpose: Development of commercial corn hybrids engineered for enhanced, low-cost conversion of cellulosic biomass to ethanol.

Center for Technology Transfer (WI) - $1,521,800
Grant Purpose: Stabilizing value of biomass material before processing.

Lucigen Corporation (WI) – $1,259,000
Grant Purpose: Novel enzyme products for the conversion of defatted soybean meal to ethanol.

Ceres, Inc. (CA) - $1,523,530
Grant Purpose: Enhance economic competitiveness of bio-based fuels through product diversification.

Ceres, Inc. (CA) - $1,572,460
Grant Purpose: Double switchgrass yield by 2020 (cellulosic ethanol).

Western Governors’ Association (CO) - $290,246
Grant Purpose: Strategic development of bioenergy in the western states.

Southern Illinois University (IL) - $676,722
Grant Purpose: Expansion of ethanol production in the Upper Mississippi River Basin.

DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory (IL) - $400,000
Grant Purpose: Enhance animal feed values in corn dry mills with bio-based solvents.

Iowa Corn Promotion Board- $1,762,157
Grant Purpose: Add value to commercial polymers through the incorporation of biomass-derived materials.

Louisiana State University Agriculture Center - $791,865
Grant Purpose: Natural fiber and commingled waste plastic project.

Michigan State University (MI) - $376,616
Grant Purpose: Develop environmental information on corn and soybean cropping systems and platform chemical production.

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (NY) - $813,450
Grant Purpose: Willow biomass crop management.

Clarkson University (NY) - $250,001
Grant Purpose: Waste biomass feedstocks for ethanol fuel production. 

North Carolina State University - $435,997
Grant Purpose: Strategic positioning of biofuels in the context of agriculture, crude oil and auto manufacturing.

The Pennsylvania State University - $579,340
Grant Purpose: Lignin conversion to value-added materials.

Drexel University - $1,312,389
Grant Purpose: Improve bio-based polymers for moisture barrier applications.

Virent Energy Systems, Inc.(WI) - $2,000,000
Grant Purpose: Co-production of propylene glycol with biodiesel production.

More in Energy