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Environment

DOE commits $250 million for biofuels centers

August 7, 2006 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 84, ISSUE 32

Some $250 million will be spent by the Department of Energy over five years to establish and operate two bioenergy research centers. The centers' focus will be basic research on the development of non-corn-based cellulosic ethanol and other biofuels. DOE will spend up to $25 million a year for each center and is seeking proposals from universities, government national laboratories, nonprofit organizations, and private companies to create and operate the centers. To minimize start-up time and costs, the centers will be established in existing facilities. Research proposals are due in February 2007, and the centers are to be functioning in 2008 and fully operational a year later. The centers will conduct biological research on both microbes and plants. DOE is seeking "transformational technologies" that will more efficiently convert a range of plant fibers to ethanol and other fuels as well as chemical feedstock.

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