Assistant Secretary Karsner Delivers Keynote at Renewable Fuels Association Conference
February 26, 2008
ORLANDO, FL — Speaking at the Renewable Fuels Association's 13th annual National Ethanol Conference, Assistant Secretary Alexander Karsner announced on Tuesday that DOE will invest up to $33.8 million on the development of enzyme systems for cellulosic ethanol. This funding will be issued to four projects over the span of four years; all four projects focus on improving enzyme systems to convert cellulosic material into sugars suitable for production of biofuels.
Building on President Bush's goal of making cellulosic ethanol cost-competitive by 2012, these projects address technical hurdles associated with mass production of clean, renewable biofuels. Combined with industry cost share, up to $70 million will be invested in these projects, with a minimum 50% cost share from industry.
"Success of these projects will play a pivotal role in the rapid development and deployment of renewable fuels to reduce emissions and dependence on foreign oil, and fundamentally change how we power our vehicles," Assistant Secretary Karsner said in his keynote address to the conference. "Supported by the President's plan to dramatically reduce U.S. gasoline consumption by 20% in ten years, the Department is on track to bring online more clean, abundant, affordable, and domestically produced biofuels at a rate and scale that will have a substantial impact on our entire transportation sector. In the interest of the environment, and energy, economic and national security, biofuels must continue to play a significant role as we work to diversify our nation's energy sources and provide a balanced portfolio of science and technology solutions to help meet the rapidly growing demand for energy worldwide."
These four projects seek to breakdown processed biomass more cost-effectively and efficiently into fermentable sugars, a significant challenge in converting biomass into fuels. Projects were selected based on their demonstrated ability to reduce the cost of enzymes-per-gallon of ethanol by improving an enzyme's performance.
The announcement is part of more than $1 billion DOE has announced for multi-year biofuels research and development (R&D) projects. These projects seek to advance the Bush Administration's long-term strategy of enhancing the nation's energy, economic, and national security by reducing our nation's reliance on foreign oil through increased energy efficiency and diversification of clean energy sources. Integral to these R&D projects include ongoing examination and reduction of greenhouse gases and land, water, and fertilizer use.
See Assistant Secretary Alexander Karsner's presentation at the National Ethanol Conference. Also see the DOE press release and, for more information on the conference, visit the National Ethanol Conference Web site.