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US Department of Agriculture grants $10m for increased bio-energy generation

CTBR Staff Writer Published 17 December 2012

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide a cummulative $10m grant to various agencies and varsities to boost bio-energy generation in the country.

The funds will be disbursed as awards from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture under its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).

The sustainable bioenergy challenge of the AFRI aims for the development of regional systems for the sustainable production of bioenergy and biobased products.

USDA secretary Tom Vilsack said that the consumption of biobased products had increased in automobile manufacturing with a greater increase expected in the near future.

"These projects will give us the scientific information needed to support biofuel production and create co-products that will enhance the overall value of a biobased economy," added Vilsack.

Each of the awards were evailated on the basis of their impact on regional biofuels production systems; impacts of regional bioenergy feedstock production systems on wildlife and pollinators; socioeconomic impacts of biofuels on rural communities; and environmental implications of direct and indirect land use change.

An external peer review panel reviewed all proposals and selected the project based on their scientific merit vis-a-vis other projects across the nation.