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One means of addressing global economic, social, and environmental challenges lies in creating a thriving bioeconomy, a marketplace based on renewable biomass, bioenergy, and sustainable agricultural crops. Bioenergy encompasses all forms of renewable energy derived from biological sources, such as biomass (raw materials) from woody biomass, grasses, corn, soybeans, forest and agricultural residues. Biobased products, such as biodegradable plastics, may also be made from biomass. 


Importance of Bioenergy

Non-renewable energy sources are limited and, as demand grows, continue to contribute significantly to changes in our climate. The production of bioenergy and biobased products is valuable to the nation’s ability to create new jobs and promote rural prosperity. This sort of bioeconomy reduces our dependence on non-renewable energy. The United States can be a world leader in the production of bioenergy and biobased products that:

  • Are economical to manufacture
  • Create new economic opportunities
  • Promote the sustainability of our natural resources

To achieve a sustainable bioeconomy, it is crucial that biomass production remain sustainable in three major ways:

  • Economically
  • Socially
  • Environmentally


NIFA’s Impact

NIFA approaches bioenergy from an integrated regional perspective by bringing together researchers, landowners, communities, and private industry. Our programs forward the advancement of sustainable bioenergy in areas such as:

  • Support for sustainable regional biomass supply chains
  • Development of new biomass crops
  • Management of emerging  pests and diseases that threaten energy crops
  • Evaluation of long-term effects of biomass production on soil
  • Improvement of handling and processing biobased products
  • Production of advanced biofuels compatible with agricultural systems 

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