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DOE and USDA to Cooperate on Producing Hydrogen from Biomass
DOE and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on May 25th that they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aimed at developing more cost-effective ways to produce hydrogen from biomass resources. Under the MOU, DOE and USDA experts will meet regularly to share information on technologies and activities of mutual interest related to reducing the cost of chemically converting biomass to hydrogen. Biomass sources that can be used for hydrogen production include ethanol, crop and forest residues, and dedicated energy crops, such as switchgrass or willow. Transitioning to hydrogen technologies in the agriculture industry and in rural communities is important for a number of reasons: Renewable, farm-based biomass can fuel hydrogen production; agricultural vehicles could one day be fueled by hydrogen; and hydrogen fuel cell technology could potentially provide power for rural communities and remote locations on farms and ranches. See the DOE press release.
The DOE and USDA effort is part of the President's $1.2-billion Hydrogen Fuel Initiative. DOE and USDA are also working together through the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research and Development Interagency Task Force, which is part of the President's National Science and Technology Council. For more information, see the federal Hydrogen.gov Web site.