USDA And DOE Announce Biomass Project Grants

Chuck Zimmerman

USDAAs a show of how much the current administration is putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to encouraging the development of renewable fuel sources, USDA just announced grants to 11 projects totalling over $12 million dollars.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced that 11 biomass research, development and demonstration projects were selected to receive $12.6 million for the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, a joint effort of USDA and the Department of Energy (DOE). The total value of the projects is nearly $19 million, including cost sharing of the private-sector partners.

“This cooperative conservation partnership benefits our nation with enhanced energy security, a cleaner environment and revitalized rural economies,” said Johanns. “The selected projects support President Bush’s goal to enhance renewable energy supplies. The grants will help to develop additional renewable energy resources and expand markets for agricultural products.”

The Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000 and the 2002 Farm Bill set the framework for interagency cooperation and joint solicitations.

Here’ s a list of the 2005 projects:

University of Idaho (Moscow, Idaho) – Increasing the Potential for the Utilization of Cellulose from Straw for Biofuel and Bioproduct Production – $693,285

The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc. (Ardmore, Okla.) – Development of Low-Lignin Switchgrass for Improved Ethanol Production – $670,166

The Tampa Bay Area Ethanol Consortium (Florida) – Implementation of a Scale-Up Pilot Plant Demonstration Facility toward the Commercialization of Florida Biomass Feedstocks for Ethanol Production – $1,920,000

University of Montana, College of Technology (Missoula, Mont.) – Biopower Demonstration and Educational Outreach – $990,500

North Carolina State University, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (Raleigh, N.C.) – Conversion of BioDiesel Derived Glycerol to Glycidol, Glycerol Carbonate and C-3 Oxygenates by Catalytic and Biocatalytic Pathways – $1,606, 265

Iowa State University (Ames, Iowa) – Environmental Enhancement through Corn Stover Utilization – $1,853,996

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) – Carbon Fiber from Biomass Lignins – $1,083,770

Clarkson University – (Potsdam, N.Y.) – Environmental and Economic Performance of an Integrated, Digester-Cogeneration-Value-Added Process – $805,938

University of Minnesota, Morris (Morris, Minn.) – Biomass Gasification: A Comprehensive Demonstration of a Community-Scale Biomass Energy System – $1,896,493

University of Florida (Gainesville, Fla.) – Bioenergy: Optimum Incentives and Sustainability of Non-Industrial Private Forests in the U.S. South – $656,525

Environmental Resources Trust (Washington, D.C.) – Incentives for Biomass Commercialization: Pioneering Markets for Biomass Using Renewable Energy Certificates, Emission Reduction Credits and Incentive Programs for Ammonia, PM10 and PM2.5 Reductions – $449,993

Government, Research