DOE and USDA Hand Out Over $24M for Biomass Projects

Nov 16 2009 | 10:13am ET

The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy (USDA, DOE) have awarded grants worth $24 million for biomass research and development projects. Of the $24.4 million announced, the DOE plans to invest up to $4.9 million with the USDA contributing up to $19.5 million.

Projects must contribute a minimum of 20% of matching funds for research and development projects and 50% of matching funds for demonstration projects. Funding is provided through USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and DOE’s Biomass Program.  Selected projects are aimed at increasing the availability of alternative fuels and bio-based products that are produced from a diverse group of renewable sources of biomass.

Grants were awarded in three categories. The first, Biofuels and Bio-Based Products, included funding of $1.6 million for Irvine, California-based GE Global Research to develop kinetic models of biomass gasification enabling the widespread design of feedstock-flexible, cost-effective biomass gasifiers.

In the second category, Biofuels Development Analysis, grants included $932,000 for Purdue University to analyze the global impacts of second-generation biofuels.

In the third and final category, Feedstock Development, grants included $1.9 million for Medford, Massachusetts-based Agrivida to develop new crop traits eliminating the need for expensive pretreatment equipment and enzymes.

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