DOE to fund three biofuel projects with $100 million

The U.S. Department of Energy announced last week that three projects will receive a total of $100 million in stimulus funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to turn sorghum into fuels, chemicals and power.

The funding comes as a result of the new governmental goal of producing 36 billion gallons of biofuel by 2022 and the aggressive federal mandate of creating 100 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol by next year.

Among the recipients for the grant is BioEnergy Interna?tional with $50 million, ICM with $25 million and Amyris Biotechnologies with $25 million.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said producing biofuels is vital for the United States.

?Advanced biofuels are critical to building a cleaner, more sustainable transportation system in the U.S.,? Chu said in a statement.

ICM will use the funds to build a cellulosic ethanol conversion pilot plant using energy sorghum and switchgrass.

Amyris Biotechnologies will use its genetically altered yeast to convert sweet sorghum sugar into hydrocarbons, lubricants, polymers and petrochemicals with the grant.

BioEnergy International will utilize the stimulus funding to biologically produce succinic acid from sorghum in Lake Providence, Louisiana.

This funding could aid the nation with becoming fuel and energy independent in the near future, leading to greater sorghum demand in the United States, according to the Narional Soghum Producers.

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