Biofuel research could benefit green supply chain

By Freddie Pierce
Help is on the way for biofuel research, and possible, the global supply chain. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week that it has secu...

Help is on the way for biofuel research, and possible, the global supply chain.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week that it has secured $136 million in funding for five major agricultural research projects that are designed to decrease U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Each of the five projects has a supply chain component involved, starting with a research team from the University of Washington. That organization received $40 million to research sustainable grown woody energy crops that are capable of producing renewable aviation fuel.

Research there is expected to benefit the entire woody biomass supply chain.

Washington State also received $40 million, and the team there will be focusing on biofuel conversion. The project is looking for a renewable aviation fuel that could make air freight and shipping greener at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

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Smaller grants were given to research teams at Iowa State, Louisiana State and Tennessee, where further biomass research could potentially create sustainable fuel options for planes, freight trains and trucks.

“U.S. advanced biofuel production could create hundreds of thousands of jobs for researches, plant operators and construction workers by 2022,” Brent Erickson, executive vice president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) said. “The five-year research and development grants (could help) to grow an integrated supply chain of renewable biomass for biorefineries.

“The growth of a complete value chain of biomass and biorefineries requires coordinated support for both continued research and development and early commercialization.”

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