Originally published in Interiors & Sources

04/15/2011

Biomass Research and Development Initiative

 
Biomass-Research

The USDA and DOE have joined forces to the tune of $30 million over three to four years that will support research and development for advanced biofuels, bioenergy, and biobased products under the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI).

Supporting the Obama administration’s goal of reducing American oil imports by one-third by 2025, the BRDI is structured to create economically and environmentally sustainable sources of renewable biomass and increase the availability of alternative fuels.

Biofuels produced by BRDI projects are projected to reduce GHG emissions by a minimum of 50% compared to fossil fuels.

"These projects will help to reduce America's dependence on imported oil by accelerating the development and commercialization of cleaner, alternative fuels that can power our vehicles and our industry," said U.S Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "Producing renewable fuels from biomass right here in the United States will improve our nation's energy security and give us an innovative edge in the global market for clean energy technologies."

For FY2011, applicants seeking BRDI funding must propose projects that follow these technical criteria:

  • Feedstock Development

Funding will support research, development, and demonstration activities for improving biomass feedstocks and their supply, including the harvest, transport, preprocessing, and storage necessary to produce biofuels and biobased products.

  • Biofuels and Biobased 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 biobased products. Funding will also support the development of a wide range of technologies to produce various biobased 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 analytic 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 impact 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 biobased products.

The agencies are also looking for projects that demonstrate the use of biodiesel in farming equipment and processing facility operations used to produce grain and/or cellulosic ethanol.

For more information on the BRDI, visit www1.eere.energy.gov/biomass

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