This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

October 18, 2006

DOE and USDA Provide $21.5 Million for Biomass Research

DOE and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced in early October that nearly $17.5 million will be awarded for biomass research, while a new solicitation from the agencies is offering an additional $4 million. The $17.5 million will go toward 17 projects in the research, development, and demonstration of biobased products, biofuels, and biomass power. USDA is providing nearly $12.8 million of the funding for projects in feedstock production and product diversification, while DOE is providing over $4.7 million for three projects developing cellulosic biomass. See the DOE press release.

The agencies also issued a $4 million solicitation for research in plant feedstock genomics. The focus will be on research in breeding, molecular genetics, and genomic technologies that will allow plants' biological functions to be predicted and manipulated for use in bioenergy. In particular, the hope is to further the use of lignocellulosic materials, which are woody plant tissues, in bioenergy and biofuels. The use of these materials would require less intensive production techniques and allow the crops to be grown on poorer quality land, saving the higher quality land for food crops. See the DOE press release and the solicitation.