May 1, 2013 – The Department of Energy recently gave the University of Georgia, Athens a $3 million grant to conduct bioenergy research. The government has pledged $25 million over the next five years to researchers trying to make biofuel more economically efficient. At $3 million, the University of Georgia, Athens is receiving more than any other university.
“This is a little bit less [than the past five years] because we’ve added more partners, but everyone had to do that,” said Alan Darvill, the principal investigator for the BioEnergy Science Center at the University of Georgia.
The consortium researching bioenergy has made its focus “overcoming biomass recalcitrance which is the natural resistance of complex carbohydrates in plant cell walls to being broken down by microbes and enzymes,” according to The Red and Black.
“It’s because of that focus that UGA is such a big player, because we have the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center here,” said David Lee, vice president of the University of Georgia, Athens Research Foundation, BESC board member and vice president for research. “It’s a world-class resource. It’s a very unusual grouping of people with expertise in areas related to plant cell walls.”