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U.K. to Fund Sustainable Biofuel By-Product R&D

Corn stover in bales (ARS/USDA)

(Agricultural Research Service/USDA)

A consortium of research funding councils and industry in the U.K. will finance new ways of extracting valuable chemicals from the by-products of brewing grains for ethanol. This call for proposals aims to challenge researchers to find processes that yield chemicals which would otherwise be produced from fossil fuels.

The project comes under the Integrated Biorefining Technologies Initiative (IBTI) Club, a collaboration of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and 10 private companies. The group has committed to funding £5 million ($ 8.15 million) in research over three years, of which this initiative is a part.

The research seeks to draw on the expertise of engineers and and microbiologists to make the best use of by-products that will become increasingly available in the U.K. as more bioethanol plants go into operation. Previous projects funded by the IBTI Club have studied new flavorings, antioxidants, and aromatic chemicals from indigestible parts of plants.

IBTI is using a two-step application process to make the awards. Applicants are first asked to provide an outline proposal by 5 July 2011, from which reviewers will select the finalists for full proposals. Those finalists will be notified in September and full proposals will be due in November. A workshop for applicants is scheduled for 16 June in London.

Read more: Univ. Bioenergy Lab to Develop Low Carbon Technologies

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