Investment builds upon the region’s leadership and ongoing efforts to develop algal based fuel production systems
ST. LOUIS, MO January 13, 2010—The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center was selected to receive $44 million from the U.S. Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as announced today by Energy Secretary Steven Chu. The Danforth Center will serve as the lead organization in a consortium that will conduct advanced biofuels research to support the development of a clean sustainable transportation sector. Today’s announcement is part of the Department of Energy’s continued effort to spur the creation of the domestic bio-industry while creating jobs.
The National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB) led by the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is one of two cross-functional groups that will seek to breakdown critical barriers to the commercialization of algae-based and other advanced biofuels such as green aviation fuels, diesel, and gasoline that can be transported and sold using today’s existing fueling infrastructure. Ten to 15 jobs in St. Louis will be immediately created as a result of the project. Biofuels generate more jobs than any other sector of sustainable energy. As the industry grows, there is potential for hundreds of thousands of new jobs nationally.
The NAABB will develop a systems approach for sustainable commercialization of algal biofuel (such as renewable gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel) and bioproducts. NAABB will integrate resources from companies, universities, and national laboratories to overcome the critical barriers of cost, resource use and efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, and commercial viability. The consortium will develop and demonstrate the science and technology necessary to significantly increase production of algal biomass and lipids, efficiently harvest and extract algae and algal products, and establish valuable certified co-products that scale with renewable fuel production. Co-products include animal feed, industrial feedstocks, and additional energy generation. Multiple test sites will cover diverse environmental regions to facilitate broad deployment.
“This award cements St. Louis as a center for the development of renewable energy from algae. The award is a tribute to the tireless efforts of Dr. Jose Olivares, the principal investigator on the project and the consortium members to build the best possible program,” said Dr. Richard Sayre, Chief Scientist NAABB and Director of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels at the Danforth Center.
The Danforth Center is a national leader in algal research. Last spring, the Danforth Center was designated an Energy Frontier Research Centers by DOE and received a $15 million five year award to establish a Center for Advanced Biofuels Systems (CABS) which is also led by Dr. Sayre At the same time, Washington University was also designated an EFRC and received $20 million award for algal research.
The NAABB consists of leading scientists and engineers from universities, private industry, and government, and will facilitate sharing expertise and technologies. Partners include: The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, University of Arizona, Brooklyn College, Colorado State University, New Mexico State University, Texas AgriLife Research -Texas A&M University System, University of California Los Angeles, University of California San Diego, University of Washington, Washington University in St. Louis, Washington State University, AXI, Catilin, Diversified Energy, Eldorado Biofuels, Genifuel, HR Biopetroleum, Inventure, Kai BioEnergy, Palmer Labs, Solix Biofuels, Targeted Growth, Terrabon, and UOP.
“I am delighted that Dick Sayre and Jose Olivares of our institution will be leading the consortium that will be doing this important work. The award also triggers a $16 million industry match and comes on the heels of significant investment in St. Louis by the Department of Energy last year. Our region is playing a leading role in our nation’s efforts to create a domestic bio-industry, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and preserve the environment,” said Dr. William H. Danforth, chairman of the board, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.
About The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a global vision to improve the human condition. Research at the Danforth Center will enhance the nutritional content of plants to improve human health, increase agricultural production to create a sustainable food supply, and build scientific capacity to generate economic growth in the St. Louis region and throughout Missouri. For more information please visit www.danforthcenter.org.
About the Enterprise Institute for Renewable Fuels
In 2007 the Taylor family, owners of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, joined forces with the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, the largest independent plant research center in the world, to establish the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels. The institute’s aim is to create the next generation of alternative fuel technologies from environmentally sound plant sources, thus reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and our dependence on non-renewable resources.
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