U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Wednesday announced the recipients of more than $80 million in government funding for biofuels research and development.
The bulk of the funding, coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, went to algae research and development, while the rest went toward improving the country’s ethanol infrastructure.
About $44 million went to the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB), an organization led by the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. The research institute, which hosts the plant science labs of several universities, is coordinating the efforts of private, academic, and public organizations trying to commercialize algae-based biofuels. The money will go toward efforts to move algae biomass production from the research and development stage to commercialization, and create infrastructure to support an algae biofuel economy in the U.S. The NAABB is also developing ideas for efficiently turning algae production byproducts into “co-products” like animal feed, and industrial feedstocks, according to the Department of Energy.