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DOE Announces up to $4 Million for University Research into Advanced Biomass Conversion

April 11, 2008 - 10:50am


FONTANA, Calif.  - U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Under Secretary Clarence "Bud" Albright today announced up to $4 million in funding available to U.S. universities for research and development of cost-effective, environmentally friendly biomass conversion technologies.  Advancing biomass technology is critical to diversifying our nation's energy sources in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on foreign oil.  Combined with a university cost share of 20%, up to $5 million would be invested in these projects.

"As world demand for energy continues to grow, so too must our supply of clean, reliable and affordable sources of energy.  Cellulosic biofuels provide a promising way to meet President Bush's ambitious goals of reducing our nation's dependence on foreign oil, improving our air quality and supporting rural communities," Under Secretary of Energy Bud Albright said. "These projects will expand the field of biomass and bioenergy encouraging collaboration with universities to the innovation necessary to diversify our nation's energy sources."

Today's Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) seeks projects that improve the conversion of biomass to advanced biofuels through biochemical, thermochemical, and chemical processes and is focused on lowering production costs and increasing yields and productivity.  Applications for this FOA are due June 2, 2008.  DOE anticipates selecting 12 awards under this announcement and requires project applicants to contribute a minimum of 20 percent cost share.

The Department's advanced research and development funding contributes to President Bush's goal of making cellulosic ethanol, which is produced from agricultural waste products through biomass conversion, cost-competitive by 2012.  The FOA will expand the geographic diversity and breadth of partners working on advanced biofuels development across the country.  This research also aims to increase the suite of biofuels necessary to supply at least 36 billion gallons of U.S. motor fuel by 2022 and meet interim supply targets for specific advanced fuels outlined in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

DOE Under Secretary Albright made the announcement while delivering remarks at the Shell Eco-marathon Americas competition, an educational project that challenges college and high school teams to build prototype vehicles using conventional or alternative fuels, including biofuels such as ethanol, derived from biomass conversion processes.

For more information on today's solicitation, visit and search for FOA DE-PS36-08GO98017.

Media contact(s):

Angela Hill, (202) 586-4940