May 3, 2007

U.S. Department of Energy to fund biorefineries

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that it will provide up to US$200 million over five years to support the development of small-scale cellulosic biorefineries in the United States. The DOE seeks projects to develop biorefineries at 10 per cent of commercial scale to produce liquid transportation fuels such as ethanol, as well as bio-based chemicals and products used in industrial applications.

The project is aimed to advance the Bush administration’s goal of making cellulosic ethanol cost-competitive with gasoline by 2012, and assist in reducing the country’s gasoline consumption by 20 per cent in ten years by expanding the availability of alternative and renewable transportation fuels.

Small-scale projects will use new approaches and a variety of cellulosic feedstocks to test new refining processes. These projects complement the DOE’s announcement earlier this year which makes up to US$385 million available over four years for the development of six full-scale biorefineries. The full-scale operations will focus on near-term commercial processes, while the small-scale facilities will experiment with new feedstocks and processing technologies. The combined projects will receive up to US$585 million in federal investment.

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