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US Department of Energy announces $73 million fund for bioenergy R&D projects

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The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $73 million (€66.8 million) in funding for bioenergy research and development (R&D) projects. A total of 35 projects will be funded through the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, to ‘help reduce the price of drop-in biofuels, lower the cost of biopower and enable high-value products from biomass or waste resources’.

US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said: “The main goal of DOE’s bioenergy R&D is to produce affordable biofuels that are compatible with existing fuelling infrastructure and vehicles across a range of transportation modes, including renewable gasoline, diesel and jet fuels.

“These projects will reduce the price of drop-in biofuels, lower the cost of biopower, and enable high-value products from biomass or waste resources, while creating American jobs and strengthening our economy and energy security.”

According to a statement by DOE, the US has the potential to produce one billion dry tonnes of non-food biomass without disrupting agricultural markets for food and animal feed. The DOE claims this ‘underutilised’ resource could be used to produce 50 billion gallons of biofuels, equivalent to 25% of US transportation fuels, 50 billion pounds of high-value chemicals and products and 75 billion kWh of electricity – enough to power seven million homes.