U.S. and India partner to research biofuelApril 25, 2012
Biofuel research and development to take place in India
The U.S. Department of Energy has announced that the University of Florida will be working with the Indian government on a new alternative energy project concerning biofuel. The initiative aims to research the uses of biofuel and develop a biofuel production system from non-food crops. The project will span a five-year period and is receiving $125 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. The project will also examine the use and development of solar energy. This particular aspect of the initiative will be led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Initiative part of a plan to promote alternative energy in Southern Asia
The initiative is titled the Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center (JCERDC). Researchers from the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology will work alongside chemists from the University of Flroida, as well as those from other universities in the U.S., to develop and research biofuels. The project, in its entirety, is part of a larger U.S. initiative which aims to help establish alternative energy throughout Southern Asia.
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India a promising home for biofuel
India is considered a promising home for biofuels because of its climate. Typically, biofuels are produced by particular forms of algae, which consume organic waste or other materials. After consuming this material, the algae produces a variety of organic oil, hydrogen or methane gas, depending on the kind of algae being used. The JCERDC will focus on researching this type of biofuel production as well as other forms that are less common. Throughout the course of the project, biofuel crops will be planted in rural communities, whose inhabitants will be taught how to harvest the crops in an effort to familiarize them with what could be the future of farming.
Biofuel could play a bigger role in alternative energy plans
Both the U.S. and India have begun to focus on adopting alternative energy at a faster pace. India has had a keen focus on solar energy and hydrogen fuel, while the U.S. has adopted an “all of the above” approach to energy. The partnership between the two is believed to produce new understanding concerning biofuel and how it could play into both countries’ plans for sustainability and alternative energy.