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NIFA Invests $5M in Sustainable Bioeconomy through Biobased Products

This AFRI program area priority focuses on developing biomass systems, biobased products, or biomass-generated power to enable the bioeconomy in a manner which reduces adverse impacts to the environment. The sustainable bioeconomy encompasses the development of biobased products that promote human health, economic prosperity, energy security, and ecosystem resources.

Project Highlights
  • A SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry team is seeking to advance the adoption of low-carbon distillate fuels from willow biomass. The integrated project includes technology development to advance conversion processes to produce carbon-negative distillate fuels from shrub willow; education components related to low carbon fuels and associated economic and environmental analyses; and broad engagement with stakeholders in feedstock production, conversion, analysis, and government policy professionals. This project ultimately aims to improve the sustainability of low carbon fuels from agricultural systems.
     
  • A group led by North Carolina State University researchers aims to develop bioproducts from Poplar as an alternative crop to Fraser Fir acreage that is being threatened by root rot infestations. The team will identify Poplar genotypes with root rot resistance and strong potential for high-quality bioproducts. Enterprise budgets and models will be disseminated for research, extension, industry, and educational use. If successful, this project could demonstrate the importance of flexible feedstocks in hardwood plantation silviculture for sustainable bioproducts and bio-economies.
     
  • A team led by The Curators of the University of Missouri will evaluate corn varieties as a viable source of phytochemicals with diverse agro-industrial applications. Purple, blue and red corn are rich sources of phytochemical compounds, such as anthocyanins, with potential health benefits and other diverse agro-industrial applications. Breeding efforts will be integrated with milling and extraction techniques to optimize for phytochemical recovery. If successful, this work could identify corn varieties and extraction processes that could benefit farmers, industry and consumers alike.

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