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US energy department approves $10m funding to develop advanced bio-fuels, bio-products

CTBR Staff Writer Published 04 January 2013

The US Department of Energy will provide $10m in funding to five new projects that seek to develop advance technologies to convert biomass into advanced bio-fuels and bio-products.

Each of the projects employs synthetic biological and chemical techniques to convert biomass into processable sugars that can be transformed into bio-products and drop-in bio-fuels for automobiles.

Two of the projects will develop cost-effective methods to produce intermediates from the deconstruction of lignocellulosic biomass, while three others will develop new conversion techniques to transform biomass intermediates into advanced bio-fuels and bio-products.

California-based Novozymes is set to receive $2.5m to expand its existing capabilities for deconstructing biomass into processable components while the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will receive $2.4m to increase the production of fuel molecules in fungi growing on lignocellulosic hydrolysate.

The J. Craig Venter Institute of Maryland, Texas AgriLife Research and a collaborative effort by Lygos & San Francisco-based TeselaGen Biotech are the other initiatives to be funded by the energy department.