Green Car Congress  
Go to GCC Discussions forum About GCC Contact  RSS Subscribe Twitter headlines

« American Petroleum Institute Argues for More Pervasive Ethanol Use at Lower Blend Ratios Instead of E85 | Main | Enova Warns of Coming Revenue Hit »

Print this post

USDA and DOE Provide $4 Million for Biomass Genomics Research; Seeking 30% Biofuels in Transportation by 2030

13 October 2006

The US Departments of Energy and Agriculture (DOE and USDA) announced $4 million for bio-based fuels research that will accelerate the development of alternative fuels. The departments issued a solicitation for research proposals for new plant feedstock genomics research projects.

This is in addition to the $17.5 million in grants for biofuels research and development announced earlier this week. (Earlier post.)

We are seeking to accelerate research breakthroughs that contribute towards making biofuels a cost-effective alternative to fossil fuels, with a goal of replacing 30 percent of transportation fuels with biofuels by 2030. Close and effective cooperation on research between the Departments of Energy and Agriculture will be an important element for the success of this effort.

—Dr. Raymond L. Orbach, DOE Under Secretary for Science

The new funding continues a commitment, begun in 2006, to conduct a fundamental research program in biomass genomics, to provide the scientific foundation to facilitate the use of woody plant tissue, specifically lignocellulosic materials, for bioenergy and biofuels.

The agencies’s joint stance is that developing lignocellulosic crops for energy fuels could use less intensive production techniques and poorer quality land, thereby avoiding competition with food production on better quality land.

The program will take advantage of significant advances in breeding, molecular genetics and genomic technologies and build upon the existing knowledge base of plant biology to enable researchers to confidently predict and manipulate plants’ biological function for bioenergy resources.

DOE’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research (OBER) and the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) National Research Initiative began the joint competitive grants program in 2006.

The program focused on fundamental research on plants that will improve biomass characteristics and yield or that will facilitate lignocellulosic degradation. In August 2006, the agencies awarded nine research grants totaling $5.7 million spanning three years. (Earlier post.)

Resources:

October 13, 2006 in Biotech, Cellulosic ethanol | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c4fbe53ef00d834bc4cd553ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference USDA and DOE Provide $4 Million for Biomass Genomics Research; Seeking 30% Biofuels in Transportation by 2030:

Comments

The support for research is laudable. I am not impressed with the 30% goal over 25 years. To properly incentivise the market and consumers DOE and DOA should look to biofuels replacing at least 60% of transportation fuel needs in twenty five years. If we can build a three tier space program to put a man on the moon in 10 years - we can switch to biofuels in far less than twenty five. Let's not forget the feds favorite raison d'etre, "national security."

Oh I won't be so hard on the goal. According to a previous report, we'd be maxed out at 33% replacement. So, unless we cut back on demand (That's conservation to you, Mr. Cheney), 30% is about as high as we can expect to go.

What I don't understand is the need for all this basic research. We pretty much know we have the biomass. Converting biomass (all sorts of biomass) into diesel is not exactly rocket science either, the Germans seem to have it all figured out.

So, how about some applied research, like what would be the best location for a sizable BtL plant. And then use those funds to make it happen!

Thank you AE,

the DOE/USDA report looks to replace 20% transporation fuel use by 2030.

"The purpose of this report is to determine whether the land resources of the United States are capable of producing a sustainable supply of biomass sufficient to displace 30 percent or more of the country’s present petroleum consumption."

It seems that over the next 25 years the migration to PHEV and flex fuels significantly reduces the consumption of liquid fuels - meeting a few conservation goals.

With the reduced consumption of transportation fuels - the 1.35 B tons of dry biomass should fulfill a greater than 30% portion of need. In twenty five years it is reasonable to expect 30% all electric vehicles on US roads. Which then means working on alternatives to carbon based power plants. Different picture.

$4 million seems like such a tiny amount. Considering they have cut NREL's budget 5 years in a row and completely eliminated funding for hydro and geothermal, you would think that they could do better than this.

It seems that over the next 25 years the migration to PHEV and flex fuels significantly reduces the consumption of liquid fuels - meeting a few conservation goals.
Not so fast. PHEV could reduce liquid fuel consumption, the question is whether there is going to be a "migration" to PHEV. Nonetheless, conservation is a goal that deserves a lot more political support. Especially considering the nutcases and enemies our petrodollars are supporting.

It should be pointed out that flex-fuels only increases liquid fuel consumption. "Flex-fuels" currently refers to fuels containing ethanol. Ethanol is no silver bullet. Since ethanol has only about 2/3 of the energy (per gallon) that gasoline has, shifting to ethanol means you need more gallons to drive the same miles. Hint: E85 is only cheaper than gasoline when it costs less than 75% of gasoline, to adjust for the reduced mileage you'll get with E85.

With the reduced consumption of transportation fuels - the 1.35 B tons of dry biomass should fulfill a greater than 30% portion of need.
Hence my comment directed at Mr. Cheney.

In twenty five years it is reasonable to expect 30% all electric vehicles on US roads.
Nobody knows what the future holds. One might also argue that in 25 years the ICE will still dominate transportation. This is pointless guesswork.

Which then means working on alternatives to carbon based power plants.
Try to get this: carbon is not the enemy. Fossil carbon is the enemy. Switching to renewable carbon is one potential solution.

$4 million seems like such a tiny amount. Considering they have cut NREL's budget 5 years in a row and completely eliminated funding for hydro and geothermal, you would think that they could do better than this.
Makes you wonder how serious they are about this...

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Green Car Congress © 2014 BioAge Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Home | BioAge Group