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FY 2010 Sustainable Bioenergy Grants

Auburn University, Auburn, Ala., $1,000,000 – This research will advance our understanding of the natural molecular assemblies inherent to biomass, making the sustainable production of hydrocarbon fuels and chemical a technical and economical reality.

Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz., $996,962 – This research will examine the factors associated with algae contamination by zooplankton in commercial cultures and develop rapid diagnostic methods to ensure sustainable production of algal crops for biofuels.

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Ark., $938,104 – The project's long-term goal is to examine landscape-level impacts of adding a novel biofuel crop to an agricultural system on the associated arthropods and the ecosystem services they provide.

University of California, Davis, Calif., $999,920 – This research will generate the basic genomics knowledge needed for breeding improved switchgrass varieties that are disease resistant.

University of California, Davis, Calif., $998,791 – The overall goal of this project is to develop the new route for co-production of isobutanol and gluconate using poplar as the feedstock. Isobutanol is a potential substitute of gasoline and an intermediate for diesel and jet fuel.

University of California, Riverside, Calif., $967,679 – This project will investigate the ecosystem of sugarcane to determine the sustainability of using it as a biomass crop and advance the technology needed to commercially develop the crop.

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo., $799,207 – The project will develop and deploy an on-line decision support tool for quantifying net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and biofuel GHG offsets for agricultural biofuel feedstock production. The tool will integrate variable management and environmental factors at local scales, allowing more accurate assessments of the GHG footprints of different biofuel feedstocks.

University of Georgia, Athens, Ga., $886,058 – This research focuses on rapidly advancing the development of a regional system for the sustainable production of bioenergy that is wholly consistent with existing pine silvicultural systems in the Southeast and will promote a feedstock for the production of advanced non-ethanol fuels.

Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, Ga., $970,968 – The purpose of this project is to develop sustainable production systems on marginal land for high cellulosic biomass and sugar yielding feedstocks for 'drop-in biofuel.'

University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, $599,210 – This project addresses creating enhanced-value products from oilseeds, a feedstock of particular importance to the Pacific Northwest.

University of Illinois, Urbana, Ill., $984,822 – This project will sequence and study the genome of the western corn rootworm beetle, which is a major pest of corn, and has the potential to affect perennial grasses, which are in development to become alternative bioenergy crops. The knowledge gained will help improve the chances of modifying these grasses to prevent colonization with the beetle.

Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan., $586,427 – This project seeks to develop chemical conversion technology needed to develop a slate of co-products to perennial grasses, which will be used as a bioenergy feedstock.

University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky., $985,147 – This project will engineer optimized production of long, branched-chain hydrocarbon biosysnthesis, which can be distilled into combustible fuels or used to synthesize plastics, nylons, paints and other oil-derived products.

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, La., $999,460 – The overall goal of this research is to build a landscape-wide pest management program that will mitigate insect pest and disease pressures and damage to bioenergy crops in interaction with conventional crops in the U.S. Gulf Coast region.

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, La., $973,339 – The goals of this research project are to explore the potential for producing cottonwood and switchgrass on marginal soils in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley to sequester carbon in biomass and soil as well as to quantify the fluxes of carbon associated with producing feedstocks and fuels from these cropping systems.

Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich., $998,630 – This project will quantify the impacts of woody biomass feedstock production systems on carbon sequestration in soils and biomass and soil emissions of greenhouse gases to determine the net environmental benefits and long-term sustainability of biomass energy production in the northern Great Lakes Region.

Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich., $991,219 – This project will examine three groups of highly mobile, grass-associated pests: cereal aphids, aphid-vectored viruses, and white grub larvae. These studies will help identify the most suitable bioenergy crops for use in Midwestern agricultural landscapes to support sustainable agriculture and energy production.

Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich., $957,582 – Our overall goal in the project is to develop a cost-effective glycerol-based succinate fermentation process to help increase the sustainability of biodiesel production.

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn., $999,816 – This project will study the properties of lignin to create formulations for the development of thermoplastics, an important co-product of biomass material.

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn., $993,284 – This research will study the nanofiber intermediated, binderless films and adhesives to expand the application range of biomass co-products, converting a would-be waste residue into a value-added co-product.

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn., $964,611 – This project will assess the yield potential of perennial bioenergy plantings in agricultural soils and the impact these plantings will have on the surrounding agricultural landscape.

Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., $997,086 – This research is intended to measure trends in two important environmental impacts of perennial grass feedstock production: accumulation and sequestration of carbon in the soil and the emissions of nitrous oxide and other trace gases that strongly govern the overall emissions footprint of the bioenergy production system.

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C., $802,970 – This project’s goal is to develop a pine-switchgrass bioenergy production system for the Southeast based on regionally appropriate crops and indigenous biomass production practices that will benefit economic development and the environment.

Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla., $920,617 – This research will study the capabilities of prairie grasses to sequester large amounts of carbon in an effort to develop sustainable practices for biofuel feedstock production.

Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pa., $999,451 – This project will understand anthracnose, a fungal disease complex affecting sorghum and maize, and develop sorghum varieties that are less susceptible to the disease.

Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pa., $963,543 – This research will perform life cycle assessments of greenhouse gas emissions associated with the conversion of marginal lands to switchgrass production to determine the net effect of resultant biofuels on greenhouse gas emissions.

Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pa., $894,507 – This fundamental research will create enhanced-value for biofuel co-products and residues produced in biofuel production facilities and iron foundries.

South Dakota State University, Brookings, S.D., $1,000,000 – The long term goal of this project is to design a feedstock production system for bioenergy production that is optimized for both energy production and maintenance of ecological services.

South Dakota State University, Brookings, S.D., $592,415 – This project will develop activation technologies for producing valuable activated carbon, from biochar generated during microwave and fast pyrolytic conversion of biomass to biofuels.

South Dakota State University, Brookings, S.D., $150,000 – The goal of this research is to produce high levels of commercially available polysaccharide gums from hydrolysates of the perennial grass prairie cordgrass.

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, S.D., $42,919 – This equipment grant award is to obtain a complete Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography system, including the core module, system control and data acquisition hardware/software, and detectors for research and training within the field of advanced biofuels production and co-product development from lignocellulosic biomass and microalgae.

Clemson University, Clemson, S.C., $149,861 – The overall goals of this project is to generate and test transgenic hybrid poplar plants that carry candidate disease resistance genes and identify key genes that are involved in the response to septoria disease.

Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, $995,100 – This project will develop advanced biomass sorghum cropping systems utilizing improved nutrient management, rotation and decreased soil disturbance to increase carbon sequestration, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the sustainability of biomass sorghum feedstock production in the south central United States.

Rice University, Houston, Texas, $443,541 – This project will test the need for fertilizer in future biofuel crops by measuring the yield of biochemicals needed for biofuel production. The results will be used to produce a measurement approach that is easy to operate in-field.

Utah State University, Logan, Utah, $999,874 – The overall goals of this project are to develop strains of Lactobacillus casei tailored for lactic acid fermentation at low pH of low-value substrates derived from algae and switchgrass feedstocks after biofuels production.

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va., $1,000,000 – This project will identify switchgrass rust resistance genes that will aid in breeding a broad spectrum of rust resistant switchgrass cultivars that could be strategically deployed according to the local rust pathogen population to ensure large-scale and sustainable biomass production in the future.

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va., $816,049 – This project will create an in depth understanding of cellulose esters and ethers and their properties in order to achieve higher performance, value and broader application of abundant cellulose to meet society's materials needs in a safe, renewable and sustainable way.

Washington State University, Pullman, Wash., $953,196 –This project investigates the ability for switchgrass and hybrid poplar to co-exist and remain highly productive to achieve high bioenergy from each crop and each acre of production.

University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisc., $997,763 – This project will examine how differing landscape structures influence crop yields to develop models and regional predictions for biomass crop yields.

USDA Forest Service, Madison, Wisc., $986,877 – This research will investigate the production of biofuels with nanocellulose and how to convert nanocellulose into forms that can used in the development of biomass co-products.

USDA Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Neb., $973,128 – This project will link steps in lignin metabolism to susceptibility to fungal pathogens or insects in an effort to improve the value of biomass crops for bioenergy uses.

USDA Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Neb., $997,741 – This research will identify switchgrass varieties with enhanced resistance to piercing-sucking insects to develop sustainable pest management strategies that will significantly contribute to the sustainability and profitability of bioenergy grasses.