- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a new $8.8 million investment in advanced biofuel production projects in 39 states.
- Payments will be given to producers based on how much biofuel they produce from renewable biomass, not including corn kernel starch. Eligible feedstocks include crop residue, food and yard waste, vegetable oil, and animal fat.
- Funding comes from the agency's Advanced Biofuel Payment Program, which was established in the 2008 Farm Bill. The agency has given out $308 million in funding to projects across the country since the program began.
This initiative is part of the USDA's ongoing interest in clean energy and fits well with the Obama administration's current emissions and food waste reduction goals.
During the Obama administration, the agency has invested $332 million in genomic research of bioenergy feedstock crops, biofuel conversion processes, and cost analysis of renewable energy production. Many of the companies that received investment in this current round are working on wood pellet and anaerobic digestion technologies.
Exciting advances have been made in biofuels lately, including an MIT project which uses bacteria to turn gas into liquid fuel and a study that determined agricultural byproducts can be converted into bioethanol. Earlier this year a Navy destroyer ship was also successfully filled with advanced biofuel made from waste beef fat.