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

September 05, 2003

DOE and USDA Award $23 Million for Biomass Research Projects

DOE and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on September 5th their selection of 19 biomass research, development, and demonstration projects that will receive a total of $23 million in joint funding. Biomass is organic matter from plants or animals that is available on a renewable or recurring basis. Several of the new projects are aimed at developing the next-generation of "biorefineries," industrial complexes that convert a range of biomass materials into biobased products and biofuels. Two of the projects focus on efficient biomass-fired energy systems, including a combined heat and power system and a district energy system that will heat a number of buildings with one biomass energy system. The remaining projects run the gamut of biomass technologies, including pretreatment processes for biomass, catalysts for biomass conversion processes, new bioproducts from biomass, anaerobic digestion (converting biomass into methane), hydrogen production from biomass, and even a microbial fuel cell that runs on biomass-generated hydrogen. See the DOE press release.

The USDA contributed nearly $16 million toward the total through funds allocated by the 2002 Farm Bill, with DOE contributing the balance. The two agencies work together through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, a multi-agency effort to coordinate and accelerate all federal research and development of biobased products and biomass energy. See the Biomass Research and Development Initiative Web site.