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AFRI Sustainable Bioenergy Program Long Term Vision

Agricultural Food and Research Initiative (AFRI) supports two major education grants to train the necessary workforce that renewable energy systems will need. Research projects are funded on the:  

  • Genetics of feedstock improvement including some joint projects with DOE
  • Creation of new enhanced value co-products
  • Management of emerging pests and diseases of dedicated bioenergy crops
  • Long term effects of bioenergy production on soil fertility and sustainability


The AFRI Regional Approaches to Sustainable Bioenergy Systems Program is funding grants bringing together strong industry, academic, and government partnerships targeting the research and development of regional systems for the sustainable production of bioenergy and biobased products that:

  1. Contribute significantly to reducing dependence on foreign oil; have net positive social environmental, and rural economic impacts
  2. Integrate research, education, and extension/technology transfer activities
  3. Produce advanced biofuels; are compatible with existing agricultural systems

The ARS Regional Biomass Research Centers, industry and university partners see the Bioenergy CAPs as highly complementary to existing activities through the facilitation of an integrated regional systems approach linking all supply chain elements listed below.

Supply Chain Elements

  • Deployment of superior genotypes of regionally-appropriate dedicated energy crops
  • Refinement and implementation of sustainable regional feedstock production practice
  • Seamless feedstock logistics
  • Scalable, sustainable conversion technologies that can accept a diverse range of feedstocks
  • Regional marketing and distribution systems
  • Regional sustainability analyses, data collection and management, and tools to support decision-making
  • A well trained workforce with the capacity to fill the cross-disciplinary needs of the biofuels industry