Agriculture, Energy Departments Give Universities Bioenergy Grants

The departments of Energy and Agriculture have issued $8 million in grants to support research projects aimed at producing non-edible feedstock for bioenergy generation.

USDA and DOE awarded the money to seven U.S. universities as part of a joint initiative designed to spur production of biofuels and other sustainable bioproducts, USDA said Thursday.

"Innovative research plays a vital role in boosting rural economies and creating jobs in rural America, and the benefits this type of research may offer is another pressing reason we need a new Food, Farm and Jobs bill passed," said Tom Vilsack, agriculture secretary.

Awardees of the biofuel research awards include:

  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
  • Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore.
  • Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, Colo.
  • University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.
  • University of Illinois, Urbana, Ill.
  • Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C.

According to the USDA, researchers will adopt different genomic methods to grow pine, switchgrass and poplar biomass crops.

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