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

January 26, 2005

DOE and USDA Offer up to $15 Million for Biomass Projects

DOE and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a joint solicitation in late December for development and demonstration projects that lead to greater commercialization of biobased products, biomass energy, biofuels, and related processes. This year's solicitation is focused on developing and producing biomass feedstocks; developing biobased products and evaluating their environmental and economic performance; integrating natural resource management and biomass use; and analyzing incentives for commercializing biomass technologies. Pre-applications are due by February 15th, and full applications are due by April 15th. DOE and USDA expect to provide as much as $15 million for the projects as part of their collaboration on the Biomass Research and Development Initiative. See the solicitation.

A new research laboratory at DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is expected to advance biomass energy technologies by probing biomass-to-energy conversion processes at the atomic and molecular levels. The $2.85-million Biomass Surface Characterization Laboratory features an array of electron and optical microscopes, as well other advanced research tools. The lab includes systems to monitor and maintain temperature, humidity, acoustical vibration, and cleanliness to the most exacting standards, while employing the latest computer hardware and software systems to capture, record, and analyze the data. See the NREL press release.