The money just keeps on flowing from the U.S. Department of Energy to alternative energy companies. If we're just talking about Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs), the DOE has invested over $400 million (over five years), now that $30 million in new funding was announced yesterday
. Those BRCs are at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, Wisconsin; and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory near Berkeley, California. BRCs are responsible for a lot of the cellulosic ethanol
and other biofuel
research is going on, especially work to make it commercially viable on a national scale. We're talking about studying plant fibers breaking down into sugars, the ethanol potential of poplar trees and switchgrass, turning rice into biofuel and "exploring microbial-based synthesis of fuels beyond ethanol." If only the DOE could fund a time machine to get these technologies ready now.