GRAND CHALLENGE 3
We must support energy security and the development of the bioeconomy from renewable natural resources in the United States.
To meet the increasing demands of a growing world population, we must provide renewable energy and other potential bioproducts in an efficient, environmentally sustainable, and economically feasible manner. Research is needed to ensure the vibrancy, resiliency, and profitability of our agricultural system and to secure new economic opportunities resulting from the production of energy, fabrics, polymers, and other valuable chemicals in the form of renewable bioproducts from agricultural materials.
Our areas of scientific focus are:
Developing technologies to improve production-processing efficiency of regionally-appropriate biomass into bioproducts (including biofuels)
Developing agricultural systems that utilize inputs efficiently and create fewer waste products
Assessing the environmental, sociological, and economic impacts of the production of biofuels and coproducts at local and regional levels to ensure sustainability
Expanding biofuel research with respect to non-arable land, algae, pest issues that limit biofuel crop yields, and emissions of alternative fuels
Restructuring economic and policy incentives for the growth of the next-generation domestic biofuels industry