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. U.S. to help fund biomass research

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by Staff Writers
Washington (UPI) April 14, 2008
The U.S. Department of Energy says it will provide up to $44 million in funding to assist universities in biomass technology research and development.

Energy Department Undersecretary Clarence Albright said advancing biomass technology is critical to diversifying the nation's energy sources in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on foreign oil.

Combined with a university cost sharing of 20 percent, up to $4.8 million will be invested in the projects, officials said.

"As world demand for energy continues to grow, so too must our supply of clean, reliable and affordable sources of energy," said Albright. "These projects will expand the field of biomass and bioenergy, encouraging collaboration with universities to the innovation necessary to diversify our nation's energy sources."

The funding is designed to aid projects that improve the conversion of biomass to advanced biofuels through biochemical, thermochemical and chemical processes.

The research funding also aims to increase the suite of biofuels necessary to supply at least 36 billion gallons of U.S. motor fuel by 2022.

Applications for funding must be submitted to the Department of Energy by June 2.

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Indonesia overtakes Malaysia as top palm oil producer: minister
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (AFP) April 14, 2008
Indonesia likely overtook Malaysia as the world's top palm oil producer in 2007, due to dramatically increased area under plantation, Malaysia said Monday.

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