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The U.S. Department of Energy announced the awarding of $178 million for bioenergy technology research.
The money will be used to support projects aimed at researching biotechnology, bioenergy and microbiology, according to a Sept. 13 news release. The move will be a key step toward reaching President Joe Biden's goal of achieving a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.
“Producing cheaper energy from organic materials — like plants, food and waste — keeps money in the pockets of energy consumers and prevents carbon pollution from reaching the atmosphere,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in the release. “These projects will continue to advance the boundaries of biotechnology and support the emergence of a thriving U.S. bioeconomy that creates good-paying jobs and helps us meet our climate goals.”
From the awarded funds, $99.7 million will go toward research into renewable bioenergy and biomaterials production, according to the release. In addition, $18 million will go toward quantum-enabled bioimaging and sensing for bioenergy, $27.4 million will go toward research into the characterization of gene function in bioenergy crop plants and $33 million will go toward understanding the role of microbiomes within the biogeochemical cycling of elements in terrestrial soils and wetlands genomics-based and systems biology research.
The project funding is expected to last approximately 5 years, the release reported.