This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
DOE Offers $250 Million for Two Bioenergy Research Centers
DOE announced on August 2nd that it will award a total of $250 million to establish and operate two new Bioenergy Research Centers. The centers will work to accelerate basic research in cellulosic ethanol and other biofuels, with an eye toward meeting the requirements set by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct). Universities, national laboratories, nonprofit organizations, and private firms are eligible to compete for an award. The deadline for proposals is February 1st, 2007, and the awards will be based on evaluation by scientific peer review and announced in the summer of 2007. The centers are expected to begin work in 2008 and be fully operational by 2009.
The centers will focus on reengineering the biological processes for converting cellulosic materials, such as grasses and agricultural residues, into ethanol. EPAct requires that 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuel be blended into the nation's fuel supply by 2012. Four billion gallons of ethanol were produced in 2006, mainly from corn. The use of other feedstocks—including cellulosic materials—will be necessary to ramp up to the required level. See the DOE press release and the full funding announcement.