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.