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ORNL-led team wins DOE bioenergy center

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. -- A team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory has won a bid from the Department of Energy for a $125 million bioenergy research center that will seek new ways to produce biofuels.

Funded by the Department of Energys Office of Science, the Bioenergy Science Center will be located on the ORNL campus in a new facility funded by the state and owned by the University of Tennessee. The center, one of three funded from more than 20 proposals, will employ the interdisciplinary expertise of the teams partners in biology, engineering and agricultural science and commercialization to develop processes for converting plants including switchgrass and poplar trees into fuels.

In announcing the awards, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said, These centers will provide the transformational science needed for bioenergy breakthroughs to advance President Bushs goal of making cellulosic ethanol cost-competitive with gasoline by 2012 and assist in reducing Americas gasoline consumption by 20 percent in 10 years. The collaborations of academic, corporate, and national laboratory researchers represented by these centers are truly impressive, and I am very encouraged by the potential they hold for advancing Americas energy security.

In addition to ORNL, the DOE Bioenergy Science Center partners are the University of Tennessee, Dartmouth College, the University of Georgia, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and companies ArborGen in Summerville, S.C.; Diversa (now Verenium Corp.) in San Diego, Calif., and Mascoma in Cambridge, Mass. The team also includes seven individual researchers from across the country. ORNLs Martin Keller will serve as director for the center.

ORNL Director Jeff Wadsworth said the DOE project will be a critical part of Americas efforts over the next decade to develop alternatives to fossil fuels. I am proud that Oak Ridge will co
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Contact: Larisa Brass
brasslm@ornl.gov
865-574-4163
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
26-Jun-2007


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