|USDA Announces Investments in Bioenergy Research
On January 11, 2013 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the funding of a $6.9 million Biomass Research and Development Initiative grant for the Eastern Regional Research Center's Sustainable Biofuels and CoProducts Research Unit.The grant will allow ERRC and their 12 partners to develop an on-the-farm distributed technology for converting forest residues, horse manure, switchgrass and other perennial grasses into biofuels and high-value specialty chemicals. The process will be implemented at on-the-farm scale using a patent-pending unit that will mimic the petroleum industry's catalytic cracking process. The project integrates a life cycle assessment from collection and handling of the biomass to end products and will use thermodynamic principles to assess its sustainability.
Dr. Akwasi Boateng of ERRC is the Principal Investigator and originator of the proposal. Essential research partners include Montgomery County (PA) Farm Bureau, American Refining Group, Mesa Reduction Engineering and Processing Inc., RER Energy Group, SAPPI North America, Siemens, Inc., University of South Carolina, University of Delaware, University of Maine, Drexel University with Swarthmore College and SUNY ESF, Villanova University with PQ/Zeolyst Corp., Morrisville State College, University of Oklahoma, and University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.
To view entire news release online, visit http://www.nifa.usda.gov/newsroom/news/2013news/01112_brdi.html