AFRI Regional Bioenergy System Coordinated Agricultural Projects
Across the US, NIFA has committed $156 million, over five years, in seven projects to facilitate the development of regionally-based industries producing advanced biofuels, industrial chemicals, and other biobased products. These projects are addressing biomass feedstock production, logistics, conversion technologies, and the analysis of impacts on agricultural and forestry markets, rural communities, and ecosystems.The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) is funding seven regional integrated Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAPs) targeting enhanced rural prosperity and national energy security through the development of regional systems for the sustainable production of advanced biofuels, industrial chemicals. and biobased products. The regional systems focus on non-food dedicated biomass feedstocks such as perennial grasses, sorghum, energy cane, oilseed crops, and woody biomass. The CAPs are intended to enhance existing agricultural systems, create new job opportunities in rural areas, and support the existing and expanding North American fossil–based energy systems by contributing to the potential for these finite resources to be used at more moderate rates over a longer period of time thus potentially improving economic sustainability and slowing the rate of climate change.
Seven academic, industry, government, and non-governmental institution consortia in the Pacific Northwest (2), Southeast (2), Rocky Mountains, Northeast, and the Central United States have been awarded a total of $156 million over five years. These projects involve: 27 States; 31 Land-Grant Universities (including 6 minority-serving institutions); 6 Non Land-Grant Public Universities; 1 Community College Regional Consortium; 2 Private Non-Profit institutions; 9 USDA Federal Partners; 2 DOE Federal Partners; and 23 Industrial Partners. The projects are intended to test the feasibility of developing sustainable regional systems for the production of biofuels, biopower, and biobased products which operate at a scale and level of integration to make them cost effective.