The US Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Energy (DOE) have jointly awarded nine grants totaling $5.7 million for bio-based fuels research intended to accelerate the development of alternative fuel resources.
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.
This is the first year CSREES and OBER have solicited competitive grants in this joint program. DOE is funding six projects for a total of nearly $3.9 million. USDA granted more than $1.8 million to fund three projects. Initial funding will support research projects for up to three years.
These research projects build upon 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.—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. 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.—Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns
The grants go 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, NY, $300,000
- North Carolina State University , $700,000
- Kansas State University, $700,000
- University of Georgia, $445,000
Secretaries Bodman and Johanns also announced the appointment of twelve members to serve on the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee.
The Committee provides expert advice to the two secretaries on strategic planning; the technical focus and direction of requests for proposals issued under the biomass initiative; procedures for reviewing and evaluating proposals for funding; and encouraging closer collaboration among federal and state agencies, industry and growers. The Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee was established by the Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000.
Members of the Committee represent backgrounds such as the biofuels industry, academia with expertise in bio-based fuels and products, commodity trade associations, environmental and conservations organizations, State governments, and agricultural economics. They are appointed to a term of three years and maybe reappointed to two consecutive terms.
The newly appointed members are:
- David Anton, Venture Manager of Biofuels for the Dupont Corporation, Wilmington, Del
- Lou Honary, Director ABIL Research Program, University of Northern Iowa, Waverly, Iowa
- E. Alan Kennett, President Gay & Robinson Sugar, Kaumakani, Hawaii
- Mark Maher, Executive Director, GM Powertrain Vehicle Integration, Pontiac, Mich.
- John McKenna, CEO Hamilton Clark & Co, McLean, Va.
- Ed McClellan, Alston & Bird LLP, Washington, D.C.
- Mitchell Peele, North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation, Raleigh, N.C.
- Jeffrey Serfass, President Technology Transition Corporation, Washington, D.C.
- Robert Sharp, Vice President Mobile Forest Products, Mobile, Ala.
- J. Read Smith, Co-Chair Agriculture Energy Work Group, St. Johns, Wash.
- Rodney Williamson, Iowa Corn Promotion Board, Johnston, Iowa
- Thomas Binder (Reappointed), President of Research, Archer Daniels Midland, Decatur, Ill.