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Review of the Research Strategy for Biomass-Derived Transportation Fuels
and construct ethanol production facilities are being developed. In FY 1998, an additional commitment to design and construct biomass waste-to-ethanol facilities was obtained. DOE's commitment for the BC International project (BCI) that was initiated in FY 1997 was $4,00,000, with BCI costshare of $27,600,000, or 87 percent. An additional $750,000 was included under Biomass Power for the Gridley Project. A minimum 50 percent cost share was required from any partner entering into an agreement.
In FY 1999 DOE's commitment with BCI for the Jennings, Louisiana plant will be completed, in accordance with Congressional language. An additional commitment with an industrial partner was established that will lead to the design and construction of an ethanol facility in Rio Linda, California. DOE share for the Rio Linda facility was $4,000,000, in accordance with Congressional language. An additional commitment with industry partners will be established that will lead to the design and construction of commercial demonstration facilities in targeted areas: California and Alaska.
Switchgrass Variety Testing and Scale-up Research
Switchgrass variety field tests are being conducted in the five major growing regions of the U.S. Field trials established at five USDA National Plant Materials Testing Centers will evaluate newly developed switchgrass liners. Cost-shared 100-300 acre scale-up plantings of switchgrass will be evaluated to provide yield, operational issues, and cost data. In FY 2000, field tests and scale up data will be collected and evaluated and field trial near waste-to-ethanol facilities/sites will be established.
Feedstock Composition and Multiproduct Use
Altering plant composition to improve conversion efficiencies will provide potential benefits and costs reductions in the production of fuels, chemicals and electricity. The tailoring of plants so that all components of the plant can effectively be used to produce multiple products will provide potential costs reductions and broader opportunities for adaptation of feedstock production systems.
Mechanization systems for energy crops to lower harvesting/handling cost, will address a major obstacle to the widespread use of energy crops. Cost-shared opportunities for switchgrass handling and storage specifically as a means of improving the ethanol production costs will be explored. Handling and storage systems for the use of agricultural residues to produce ethanol will improve costs and process efficiencies.
Total Regional Biomass Energy Program
(jointly funded with Biopower)
Regional Biomass Resource Activities
Regionally-focused activities with State and local governments and industry will develop the capability to produce and use biomass resources for multiple products.
Biofuels Production Activities
Using the regional program infrastructure, support will be provided for cost-shared site studies for biofuels production facilities, including resource assessments and analyses of local, State, and regional nontechnical issues.
The potential of biodiesel will be improved by testing new biodiesel fuel formulations to enhance fuel performance of high efficiency engines in collaboration with the Office of Heavy Vehicle Technologies, USDA, and the National Biodiesel Board.
Total Biodiesel Funding
Biodiesel Production Technologies
Based on a completed assessment, research and development will improve biodiesel process technology, using waste grease streams to lower production costs. In addition, improved oilseed production has the potential of lowering biodiesel production costs. Working with industry, activities to facilitate market penetration will lead to increased biodiesel production and use.
Total Feedstock Production Funding
(jointly funded with Biopower)
Biomass Feedstock Development Centers
Research will be conducted to develop economically viable model energy crops at integrated biomass feedstock