Funding renewed for US bioenergy research centres

Three US research centres created towards developing advanced, “next generation” biofuels are getting funding for an extra five-year period from the Department of Energy (DoE). The centres were established by […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Three US research centres created towards developing advanced, “next generation” biofuels are getting funding for an extra five-year period from the Department of Energy (DoE).

The centres were established by the Department’s Office of Science in 2007 as an innovative programme to accelerate “research breakthroughs” in biofuels. Funded at a rate of $25 million (£16.3m) per year, scientists found new ways of producing advanced biofuels such as “green” gas and diesel from biomass and used non-food crops for biofuel producton in the past few years.

The DoE said the next few years will emphasise on “scientific breakthroughs” into new technologies that can transition to the market.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said: “Developing the next generation of American biofuels will enhance our national energy security, expand the domestic biofuels industry and produce new clean energy jobs. It will help America’s farmers and create vast new opportunities for wealth creation in rural communities. By investing in innovative approaches and technologies at our Bioenergy Research Centers, we can continue to move the biofuels industry forward and grow our economy while reducing our reliance on foreign oil.”

In the five years of operation, the research centres – led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory – have produced more than 1,100 peer-reviewed publications.