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USA announces biomass R&D funding

Apr. 21, 2011, Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy have announced up to $30 million over three to four years that will support research and development in advanced biofuels, bioenergy, and high-value bio-based products.


April 21, 2011
By U.S. Department of Agriculture / U.S. Department of Energy

Apr. 21, 2011, Washington, D.C. – The U.S.
Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Energy (DOE) have announced up to $30
million over three to four years that will support research and development in
advanced biofuels, bioenergy, and high-value bio-based products. Projects
funded through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) will help
create a diverse group of economically and environmentally sustainable sources
of renewable biomass and increase the availability of alternative renewable
fuels and bio-based products. Advanced biofuels produced from these projects
are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 50% compared to
fossil fuels and will play an important role in diversifying the United States’
energy portfolio.

For fiscal year 2011, applicants seeking
BRDI funding must propose projects that integrate science and engineering
research in the following three technical areas that are critical to the
broader success of alternative biofuels production:

  • Feedstock development: Funding will support research, development, and demonstration
    activities for improving biomass feedstocks and their supply, including the harvest,
    transport, pre-processing, and storage necessary to produce biofuels and
    bio-based products.
  • Biofuels and bio-based products
    development:
    Research, development, and
    demonstration activities will support cost-effective technologies to increase
    the use of cellulosic biomass in the production of biofuels and/or bio-based
    products. Funding will also support the development of a wide range of
    technologies to produce various bio-based products, including animal feeds and
    chemicals that can potentially increase the economic viability of large-scale
    fuel production in a biorefinery.
  • Biofuels development analysis: Projects will develop analytical tools that improve the
    sustainability, environmental quality, cost effectiveness, security, and rural
    economic development of renewable biomass technologies. Funding will also be
    used to develop new tools to better evaluate the effects of expanded biofuel
    production on the environment and to assess the potential of using federal land
    resources to sustainably increase feedstock production for biofuels and
    bio-based products.

Integrating multiple technical areas in
each project will encourage collaborative problem-solving approaches, enable
grantees to identify and address knowledge gaps, and facilitate the formation
of research consortia. The agencies are also seeking projects that demonstrate
the use of biodiesel in farming equipment and processing facility operations
that are used to produce grain and/or cellulosic ethanol.

Subject to annual appropriations, USDA plans
to invest up to $25 million, with DOE contributing up to $5 million for the
2011 BRDI. This funding is expected to support five to ten projects over three
to four years. A description of the solicitation, eligibility requirements, and
application instructions can be found on the FedConnect website, www.fedconnect.net/
and the Grants.gov website at www.grants.gov/
under Reference Number DE-FOA-0000510. Pre-applications are due on May 31,
2011, and must be submitted electronically. It is anticipated that applicants
who are encouraged to submit full applications will be notified by August 3,
2011.

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