11 Aug UW-Madison gets $333,000 for biofuels research
Madison, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of 10 institutions to receive grants for bio-based fuels research from the United States Departments of Energy and Agriculture.
The grants, announced by Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman and Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, include a $333,000 award to UW-Madison, which ranks as the fourth largest research university in the nation, according to statistics released by the National Science Foundation.
Bodman said the funded research products would build on DOE’s strategic investments in genomics to promote the development of alternative energy sources. To develop a reliable energy source, he noted that farmers and ranchers “would need to grow biomass in large quantities,” and the grants are designed to improve the efficiency with which biomass and plant feedstocks are used to produce renewable fuels such as ethanol.
The USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service and the DOE’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research awarded a total of $5.7 million in grants. They have initiated the research program to facilitate the use of woody plant tissue, particularly lignocellulosic materials, for bioenergy or biofuels. The research projects will focus on poplar, alfalfa, sorghum, wheat, and other grasses.
In addition to UW-Madison, other institutions receiving grants include: Purdue University, Ind., $1.4 million; The Noble Foundation, Okla., $800,000; Texas A&M University, $800,000; Carnegie Institute of Washington, $359,000; Brookhaven (N.Y.) National Library, $300,000; North Carolina State University, $700,000; Kansas State University, $700,000; University of Georgia, $445,000.
Before the grant was announced, the National Science Foundation released it study of 2004 research expenditures. It shows that UW-Madison spent nearly $764 million on research in science, engineering, and the social sciences, which represents a $43 million increase over 2003.
The top three universities were Johns Hopkins University, $1.3 billion (including $670 million for the Applied Physics Laboratory, a division of Johns Hopkins that foces on defense and military research); the University of California at Los Angeles, $773 million; and the University of Michigan, $769 million.
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