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USDA awards $10 million for biomass in northeast

October 16, 2012, Washington, D.C. - U.S. agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack awarded a $10 million, five-year grant to a university and business consortium led by Penn State University to study which biofuel feedstocks might best be grown in the northeast.


October 16, 2012
By Argus Media

October 16, 2012, Washington, D.C. – US
agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack today awarded a $10 million, five-year
research grant to a university and business consortium led by Pennsylvania
State University to study which biofuel feedstocks might best be grown in the
northeast.

 

The research project will focus on
development of non-food biomass sources such as willow, miscanthus and
switchgrass, which can be grown on former strip mines and in marginal
floodplains.

 

“This is an opportunity not only to
grow and expand our feedstock but to address a concern that many folks have
about strip mines and what happens after an area has been mined,” Vilsack said.

 

The biomass research project aims to
develop sustainable production practices to improve yields by 25% and cut costs
by 20%.

 

This is the sixth, and smallest,
research grant the Agriculture Department (USDA) has awarded through its
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative to attempt to develop regional,
renewable energy markets.

 

In September 2011, Vilsack announced
five grants totaling more than $136 million for research projects in various
regions of the country.

 

Please visit ArgusMedia.com or more information.

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