The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award up to $3 million in funding for advanced biofuels, bioenergy, and biobased products available through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI). DOE has selected two projects from the University of Tennessee and Northwestern University that will receive between $1 million to $2 million each.
BRDI is a joint program organized through DOE and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Integrating science and engineering, the two DOE projects will develop diverse, cost-effective cellulosic biomass technologies for use in the production of biofuels, as well as a range of biobased products that potentially can increase the economic feasibility of fuel production in a biorefinery.
The DOE selections are:
The University of Tennessee (UT). UT will be developing an integrated biorefinery design that combines the production of liquid fuels and renewable chemicals to verify production of affordable cellulosic ethanol.
Northwestern University (NU). NU will be developing a rapid synthesis of next-generation biofuels and bioproducts from lignocellulosic biomass. The project will employ several strategies to reduce the timeframe of discovering biosynthetic pathways to optimize fuel and chemical production, including bottom-up engineering principles, computational models, and cell-free framework systems.
Both these projects will lower the costs of the production of bio-based fuels, as well as co-products for chemicals and other uses. If successful, both projects will help the Bioenergy Technologies Office to meet its goal of less than $3 per gallon gasoline equivalent for advanced biofuels.