Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that it has selected six advanced biofuels projects at universities that will receive up to US$4.4 million in funding. The awards will support research and development for cost-effective, environmentally-friendly biomass conversion technologies for turning non-food feedstocks into advanced biofuels. Combined with the minimum university cost share of 20 per cent, more than US$5.7 million is slated for investment in the six projects.

“Reaching out to our university partners across the country is one more step in expanding our national team that is working to make cost-effective, sustainable biofuels from non-food cellulosic feedstocks and essential contributor to fulfilling our renewable energy goals,” said Jacques Beaudry-Losique, Program Manager of the Office of the Biomass Program. “DOE is investing in these universities and novel technologies to pursue R&D in support of the goals established in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 for advanced biofuels and the Administration’s production targets.”

The projects include the first simultaneous conversion of cellulose to sugar and fermentation to ethanol with native yeasts; an evaluation of the oil content of algae cultures; high potential bacteria used with regionally-available feedstocks such as pre-pulping extracts and seaweed sludge; and experimental gasifiers that use forest residues.

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