The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the availability of $2.9 million in funding for research to improve biorefinery technologies. The Integrated Biorefinery Optimization program is coordinated and co-funded jointly between NIFA and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office.
Biofuels and bioproducts can be created from a range of renewable energy sources, such as wood waste, short rotation crops and non-food grasses. Currently, there are only a few integrated biorefineries that work with new energy sources and across the entire supply chain from raw material to finished product. NIFA and DOE support technology development and engineering solutions to overcome barriers to their operational success and economic growth. This research helps integrated biorefineries reduce costs and improve performance to enhance U.S. energy security by reducing dependence on foreign oil and fostering economic growth through the latest advances in biotechnology.
Eligible applicants include state agricultural experiment stations, colleges and universities, and other public and private U.S. research organizations. Research funded through this program will support projects that address the challenges surrounding the successful scale-up and reliable continuous operation of integrated biorefineries. Funding may be used to reduce risk and provide resources to accelerate commercialization of advanced or cellulosic biofuels and bioproducts.
Applications are due by April 3, 2017.
For more details, see the request for applications on the NIFA website.
NIFA has invested in a range of projects to expand the regional biofuel and bioproduct industries and foster the scientific corps and workforce that support the bioeconomy. One recent example is a five-year investment to the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA), which has advanced research into biofuels and biochemicals, fostered the Northwest regional biofuel industry and helped educate tomorrow’s workforce on renewable energy. In November, Alaska Airlines landed the first commercial flight powered in part by a new renewable fuel made of wood waste developed through this initiative.
NIFA invests in and advances innovative and transformative research, education and extension to solve societal challenges and ensure the long-term viability of agriculture. NIFA support for the best and brightest scientists and extension personnel have resulted in user-inspired, groundbreaking discoveries that are combating childhood obesity, improving and sustaining rural economic growth, addressing water availability issues, increasing food production, finding new sources of energy, mitigating climate variability and ensuring food safety.