News Article

Exelus Inc. of Livingston receives $5.1 million federal grant for biomass research
Date: May 05, 2011
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Featured firm in this article: Exelus Inc of Fairfield, NJ

As part of the Obama administration's effort to address gasoline costs, the federal government Thursday announced that Exelus Inc. of Livingston has received $5.185,004 to work on two green energy projects.

Exelus scientists will use the money in an attempt to improve the tolerance of crops to drought and salt stress, as well as redesign a process to convert biomass feedstocks into biofuels, thereby improving its cost-competiveness.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the award in Washington.

The Exelus project is one of eight research and development projects sharing $47 million earmarked to support the production of biofuels, bioenergy and high-value biobased products from a variety of biomass sources.

The investments in clean, sustainable transportation fuels is part of an effort to help reduce U.S. oil imports, support economic development in rural America, create clean energy jobs for U.S. workers, and protect American families and businesses from future spikes in gas prices. The advanced biofuels produced through these projects are also expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent compared to fossil fuels.

Exelus, located on Dorsa Avenue, develops and licenses energy efficient and eco-friendly chemical technologies to produce an array of products and materials used in consumer products, transportation and food processing.

"Permanently reducing our dependence on foreign oil and getting a handle on out of control gas prices will require our brightest scientists, our smartest companies, and strategic investments in research," Vilsack said. "The projects that we are announcing today will spur innovation in bioenergy by developing renewable resources that produce energy more efficiently and do so in a sustainable way. Advances made through this research will help boost rural economies by developing and testing new processing facilities and profitable, energy-rich crops that U.S. farmers and foresters will grow."

"The projects selected today will help produce affordable, renewable biofuels right here in the U.S. to power our cars and trucks," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said. "President Obama set a bold national goal to reduce America's oil imports by one-third in a little more than a decade. By developing and commercializing advanced biofuels, we will create new economic opportunities for rural communities, provide consumers with new options to fuel their vehicles, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil."

The projects are funded through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative created to try to help increase the availability of alternative renewable fuels and biobased products to diversify the nation's energy resources. Funding is provided through USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture and DOE's Biomass Program. Each award was made through a competitive selection process.

Grant recipients are required to contribute a minimum of 20 percent of matching funds for research and development projects and 50 percent of matching funds for demonstration projects. The recipients must pursue projects that integrate science and engineering research in three areas: feedstocks development, biofuels and biobased products development, and biofuels development analysis.

The other recipients are" Cellana LLC, Kailua Kona, Hawaii, $5,521,173; Domtar Paper Co., Fort Mill, S.C., $7,000,000; Metabolix Inc., Cambridge, Mass., $6,000,001; University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla., $5,430,439; University of Kansas Center for Research, Lawrence, Kan., $5,635,858; University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky., $6,932,786, and the U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Missoula, Mont., $5,309,320.