Berkeley Lab Awarded Funds for Biofuels Research

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Cathy Zoi announced today that Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) will receive almost $18 million from the Recovery Act to build an advanced biofuels process development facility from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). This grant will assist researchers with studies of next generation biofuels by providing industry-scale test beds for innovative technologies called Advanced Biofuels Process Development Unit (PDU).

“The Advanced Biofuels Process Development Unit will serve the efforts of major biofuels research across the nation, including the Bioenergy Research Centers in the DOE Office of Science,” said Berkeley Lab director Paul Alivisatos. “The establishment by EERE of this facility at Berkeley Lab, a DOE Office of Science national laboratory, reflects a renewed spirit of cooperation between the DOE technology and science programs. Berkeley Lab is proud to play its part.”

Zoi added, “The Department of Energy is committed to developing cost-effective and sustainable advanced biofuels. With this investment in the Advanced Biofuels PDU, we will vastly increase the capacity to test new innovative approaches on a larger, integrated scale. Scaling up these clean energy technologies is crucial to addressing climate change and building a strong, domestic clean energy economy.”

The Advanced Biofuels PDU is scheduled to be fully operational by early 2011. The facility will be a publicly available facility where researchers can integrate process steps and test innovative technology pathways, such as those being developed at DOE’s Office of Science Bioenergy Research Centers, and it will be the only one of its kind available for public use.

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