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Homegrown Energy

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Homegrown Energy

To increase Americans’ access to inexpensive fuel alternatives in the near term and to achieve true energy independence by reducing our dependency on fossil fuels in the long term, the President and Administration’s policy to promote the development of domestic biofuels is essential.

The USDA will contribute up to $700 million toward the Pandemic Assistance for Producers program through a new Biofuel Producer Program. The Program will assist farmers who depend on biofuel producers to provide a crop market. The money will support preserving a strong and viable market for such agricultural goods by providing payments to biofuel producers.

What is Biofuel?

Unlike the drawn-out natural processes that lead to the formation of fossil fuels like oil, the production of biofuel occurs swiftly from biomass. The terms “biofuel” and “biomass” are frequently used interchangeably since biomass may be used directly as a fuel.

Developing and Demonstrating Bioenergy Technologies

The US Department of Energy seeks to develop and test bioenergy technology to power a more sustainable country. They will need to rely on a range of resources to complete the task since they will need to produce nearly a billion tons of biomass.

Scientists are investigating some novel and unexpected methods to create the next generation of biofuels. Here are some of the ways that bioenergy can be made:

Corn Stover

Around 10% of the fuel sold in the US is ethanol derived from maize. It turns out that corn stover (the leaves, cobs, and stalks of maize plants) may also be used as fuel. Several businesses in the US and Canada have built refineries that use maize stover to create ethanol, and additional facilities are scheduled to start up soon. DOE is also investigating novel approaches to converting stover into other fuels like gasoline and diesel.

Trees Destroyed by Beetles

In the Rocky Mountain states, a recent pine beetle infestation resulted in millions of acres of dead trees. Land managers have another option for dealing with beetle-killed forests thanks to the selective removal of some of these trees for use as biofuels, and bioenergy producers now have a reliable source of biomass.

Algae

The same aquatic creatures from the black lagoon are incredibly powerful photosynthesizers. The gasoline produced by algal biofuel technology might be used to power everything from automobiles and trucks to trains and airplanes since algae grow so quickly. Some researchers say it could be 10 to 100 times more productive than other bioenergy sources.

Combined Biomass

Why not combine several forms of biomass if one specific type is unavailable or too expensive? Researchers combined municipal grass clippings, switchgrass, and maize stover as a mixture into pellets to improve quality, lower prices, and lessen supply risks. These mixtures frequently produce more efficient biofuels than using just one kind of feedstock.

Solid Municipal Waste

Energy companies have long burnt rubbish to create electricity while capturing gases like methane. Municipal solid waste (MSW) is processed into pellets and other convenient formats by researchers, who combine it with other kinds of biomass for biofuel production.

The Bottom Line

Researchers have also produced biofuels from fungus, sugar cane, synthetic bacteria, restaurant grease, and other sources. Corn stover and municipal solid waste have great potential as biofuels, according to scientists who have looked at some of these alternatives.

The DOE is working to promote technology that can aid the United States in enhancing its energy security through domestic energy sources. To lower reliance on fossil fuels, biofuel and homegrown energy efforts are essential to achieving true energy independence and safeguarding Americans from fluctuating prices.

Together, they will hasten the switch to renewable energy, promote American agriculture and industry, and generate well-paying employment.

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