The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $45.5 million (£33m) in funding for research projects aimed at advancing the use of clean biofuels and bio-products.
They aim to push the boundaries of biology and biotechnology research and boost understanding to harness nature’s biological processes to produce clean biofuels and bio-products.
Biofuels and bio-products are produced by converting biomass – made up of recently-living organic materials like crop waste, food waste and algae – and other waste resources into valuable low carbon alternatives to products such as fossil-based fuels, plastics and construction materials.
The research projects have been sponsored by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER), which supports scientific research on complex biological, earth and environmental systems to advance the nation’s energy and infrastructure security.
US Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm said: “Biofuels that can power planes and ships and bio-products made from renewable resources will play a critical role in decarbonising our economy – and today’s awardees will help us understand, predict and even design them at the cellular level so that we can unlock their full potential.
“Led by the unparalleled scientific capabilities at DOE’s National Labs and America’s world-leading research universities, these projects will help us develop low carbon products that drive economic growth while building a more sustainable world for our children and grandchildren.”