ORNL BioEnergy Science Center funding renewed

The Department of Energy has announced renewed funding at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s BioEnergy Science Center (BESC).

BESC is an 18-member consortium of university, industrial and private foundation partners studying ways to generate biofuels from plant sources not competing with food production.

“We’ve been looking at feed stocks for biofuels, such as switch grass or poplar with the view toward working out how we can use our science to understand better how we can gain access to the sugars that are highly complexed in these plants,” said Paul Gilna, BESC director. “We have had a number of discoveries and publications that demonstrate that we can improve our ability to generate biofuels from these sources.

As BESC begins its sixth year of operation, Gilna said the center moves into the next phase.

“We will move the project from discovery to delivery of a number of different technologies and feedstocks that can be used commercially for the biofuels enterprise,” Gilna said.

Eighteen partner organizations stretched across the United States have enhanced the success of the BESC program to date, according to Gilna.

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit http://science.energy.gov.

Source: ORNL

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