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Biofuels are Having a Government-funding Moment

Dec 24, 2021   |   Popular Science

"The US government is placing new bets on biofuels. Just this month, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced a plan to provide more than $100 million for basic research and tech development to produce biofuels, biomaterials, and bioproducts. Biofuels are liquid fuels produced from renewable sources, such as used vegetable oils and animal fats, and can sometimes be considered more sustainable than fossil fuels," reports Popular Science.

"The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also announced efforts to boost biofuels earlier this month through a proposed package of actions for increasing the volume of biofuels in production, despite retroactively making cuts for biofuel volume in the fuel mix for 2020 and 2021. Additionally, new regulatory changes have been placed to enhance the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a program created in 2005 to reduce emissions from fossil fuels in transit. Alongside this announcement came another announcement from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) that will be allocating up to $800 million to support biofuel producers and infrastructure."

..."There are many biofuels in use today—the most common being bioethanol and biodiesel. Ethanol is an alcohol made from plant materials, most of which is produced through dry-milling. The plant material (usually corn) is ground into flour and then fermented with co-products of distillers grains and carbon dioxide. According to the Department of Energy, this mixture is then blended with gasoline 'to increase octane and cut down carbon monoxide and other smog-causing emissions,' according to the Department of Energy."

..."'Our analysis shows that large climate benefits can, in fact, be achieved through biofuels if there is an intent to do so,' said author Lee Lynd, a professor of environmental engineering design at Dartmouth, in a press release."

Similar coverage in: Advanced Biofuels USA

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