USDA Announces $21 Million In Funding For Biobased Products
By Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D.
On September 22, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded six grants totaling nearly $21.1 million to support the development of new jet fuel, biobased products, and biomaterials from renewable sources. The funding is provided through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Sustainable Bioenergy and Bioproducts (SBEBP) Challenge Area. Grant recipients include:
- University of Arizona, which received $7,026,000 for the cultivation of two desert-dwelling feedstocks, specifically guayule and guar, that can provide biomass year round for biofuel production;
- University of Florida, which received $7,026,000 for the development of a resilient Brassica carinata-based biofuel and bioproduct supply chain in the Southeast;
- University of Missouri, Rolla, which received $32,000 to help develop a viable market for guayule resin through laboratory and field research, and expand the research and educational capacity of the asphalt laboratory at the Missouri University of Science and Technology;
- North Carolina State University, which received $2,750,000 to prepare a diverse group of college students and high school teachers with the knowledge and interdisciplinary tools necessary to advance the future of America's bioenergy, bioproducts, and the bioeconomy;
- The Ohio State University, which received $2,750,000 to create a national network of universities, industry, and government agencies that derive sufficient benefits to be sustainable long-term; and
- Oklahoma State University, which received $1,500,000 to educate the next generation of engineers and scientists in renewable resource utilization.