ST. LOUIS, MO, October 11, 2011 The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded $5.5 million to the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center to develop the oilseed plant camelina (Camelina sativa) as a sustainable source of biofuel. Sixty grants, totaling $156 million, were awarded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), an agency within the DOE, for cutting-edge energy technology projects aimed at dramatically improving how the U.S. produces biofuels. Camelina has great potential to serve as a replacement for petroleum-based fuels, and for other industrial applications.
Specifically, the $5.5 million grant will support research led by investigators associated with the Danforth Center's Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels team to develop an enhanced variety of camelina that produces more oil per acre. Camelina will be enhanced to allow the plant to use light more efficiently, increase its carbon uptake, and divert more energy to the production of oil, which is stored in seeds and is convertible to fuels. The goal of this three-year project is to combine these properties into an improved variety of Camelina.
"This research project represents the leveraging of American agricultural biotechnology to create jobs and spur economic growth by promoting 'home-grown' renewable fuel alternatives to supplant foreign petroleum dependencies," said Dr. Jan Jaworski, member, Danforth Plant Science Center, and principal investigator of the project. "The application process for the grant was very competitive. We put together a strong team and are pleased to have been selected," he added.
The research team also includes two investigators at the Danforth Center; Dr. Sam Wang, member and Dr. Douglas Allen, assistant member and Research Computational Biologist with the USDA, and four scientists from Michigan State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Montana State University and the New Mexico Consor
|Contact: Melanie Bernds|
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center