Manufacturing Savvy

Government Wants to Join with Private Sector to Produce Biofuels

The U.S. government, earlier this week, said it has $510 million to help boost production of next-generation biofuels.

Companies can bid for projects and the government, under the sponsorship of the Navy, Energy and Agriculture departments, will match the investment.

Projects would involve producing fuels from wood chips and inedible parts of plants, as opposed to more traditional biofuels such as those made from corn.

In addition to reducing oil imports by 1/3 by 2025, as per the President's stated goal, this new plan will support development of a new, rural-focused industry that will replace imported crude oil with secure, renewable fuels made here in the U.S," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said. ( Source: Reuters)

Recently Virent Energy Systems and Amyris were chosen to move ahead to stage two in a National Advanced Biofuels Consortium program that involves turning cellulosic biomass into fuel. The goal of the project is to see if "drop-in" biofuels can be developed that can serve as direct replacements or supplements to existing gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, with the potential for a pilot production plant within three years.

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