"Scientists and engineers at the Energy Department and its national laboratories are finding new, more efficient ways to convert biomass into biofuels that can take the place of conventional fuels like gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. At Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Environmental Science Division, graduate students and researchers use transplanted trees in a number of studies, including those involving biomass conversion to biofuels. In this photo, graduate student Alina Campbell is removing damaged leaves from Eastern Cottonwood trees, which helps stimulate the trees' growth."
"Energy crops are plants that can be used to make biofuels. The ideal crop can be grown quickly and densely with as little input as possible from farmers on land that’s otherwise unusable by agrarians. Once harvested, these energy crops can be converted into biofuel through various processes.
Research into energy crops and advanced biofuels, like one particular project funded by ARPA-E, contributes to U.S. energy independence, creates jobs, and directly applies to increasing food crops production.
In late 2009, ARPA-E awarded Ceres, an energy crop company, $5 million to field test high-yield, low-input traits in grasses such as switchgrass, sorghum and miscanthus. Since then, Ceres has produced testgrass yields with up to 50 percent more biomass than other grasses—a promising indicator of success."
"A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday threw out an oil industry challenge to the Obama administration's 2013 biofuel mandate, ruling that the government has "wide latitude" to decide whether to modify renewable fuel use targets, and by how much."
"The U.S. DOE has announced its intent to offer up to $4 billion in Section 1703 loan guarantees to support a wide variety of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, including those for drop-in biofuels and waste-to-energy. A 30-day comment period on the scope of the final solicitation is now open. "
"Last weekend, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz waved the iconic green flag -- kicking off the NASCAR race at the Richmond International Raceway.
While at the track, Secretary Moniz learned firsthand how NASCAR is working to reduce the sport’s environmental impact and educating its fans to do the same -- from using advanced biofuels and testing fuel cell generators to creating an extensive recycling program and incorporating renewable energy into the races. To continue to drive its environmental efforts forward, NASCAR and the Energy Department signed a Memorandum of Understanding last September, outlining ways to support the deployment of transformative clean energy technologies that lower greenhouse gas emissions."
"Farmers in Nebraska and the Dakotas brought the U.S. closer to becoming a biofuel economy, planting huge tracts of land for the first time with switchgrass—a native North American perennial grass (Panicum virgatum) that often grows on the borders of cropland naturally—and proving that it can deliver more than five times more energy than it takes to grow it."
"Research into sources for biological fuels -- biofuels -- has included everything from chicken fat to wood chips. But processing most of them yields a low net energy ratio -- the amount of energy each unit puts out isn't much more than the energy put into its production. Cost has also been a problem: Techniques for extracting fuels from plant and animal resources are currently expensive, which would be reflected at the fuel pump. But the more researchers crunch the numbers on switchgrass, the more it looks like a good candidate for an alternative fuel source."
"When you first learn of having a Corn Allergy, it doesn't seem like it will be that difficult to manage. You know to avoid corn, corn syrup, and popcorn. It seems pretty simple actually.
As it turns out, there are a few hundred ingredients that fall under the classification is, or can be, derived from corn. This information is not to scare you, but to help you be an informed consumer, and hopefully help you avoid those pesky corn based ingredients."
"Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-IA) has introduced the Renewable Fuel Utilization, Expansion, and Leadership (Re-FUEL) Act.The goal of the legislation is to create a competitive grant program to assist fuel retailers with investments in renewable and alternative fuel/energy sources. The program would be administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and will help create new and retrofit existing infrastructure, including pumps for biofuels and hydrogen, tanks, piping and electric vehicle chargers. Loebsack points out that the legislation is already paid for and does not add to the deficit."
“I believe in making things in America and there is no reason our fuel sources shouldn’t be made here as well,” said Rep. Loebsack. “It’s also important that consumers are able to choose where their fuel source comes from when they go to fill up. Too often, infrastructure constraints are cited as the reason for not giving consumers the choices they deserve. This holds back the development of our renewable and alternative energy sources that create jobs in Iowa and across the country.”
"The U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Energy (DOE) today announced $8 million in research grants to develop non-food feedstocks that can be used for bioenergy. The grants are part of a broader effort by the Obama administration to develop domestic renewable energy and advanced biofuels, providing a more secure future for America's energy needs and enhancing rural economies."