logo

US awards grants for bio-based research

January 8, 2013

WASHINGTON (Jan. 8, 10:25 a.m. ET) — The U.S. Department of Energy has announced more than $10 million to five projects in California, Washington, Maryland, and Texas that will develop technologies to convert biomass into advanced biofuels and bioproducts like plastics and chemical intermediates.

Two of the projects will develop ways to produce intermediates from the deconstruction of lignocellulosic biomass, while three projects will propose new conversion techniques to transform biomass intermediates into advanced biofuels and bioproducts.

The projects include:

J. Craig Venter Institute (up to $1.2 million; Rockville, Md.): To produce enzymes that deconstruct biomass to make biofuel. This work will be performed in collaboration with La Jolla, Calif.-based Synthetic Genomics, Inc.

Novozymes (up to $2.5 million; Davis, Calif.): To research enzymes that can deconstruct biomass into processable components.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (up to $2.4 million; Richland, Wash.): To produce fuel molecules in fungi growing on lignocellulosic hydrolysate.

Texas AgriLife Research (up to $2.4 million; College Station, Texas): To convert lignin into biofuel precursors. The team includes scientists from Georgia Institute of Technology, University of British Columbia, Washington State University, and Texas A&M University.

Lygos (up to $1.8 million; Berkeley, Calif.): To develop methods and tools to convert biomass into common and specialty chemicals. This work will be performed in collaboration with San Francisco-based TeselaGen Biotech.