Berkeley Lab to Share in Three New ARPA-E Energy Projects
Source: LBNL TABL
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researchers will play major roles in three new cutting-edge energy research projects being funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) that are aimed at “dramatically improving U.S. production and use of energy.” These three projects entail the development of tobacco as a source of biofuels, creation of a personalized system for reducing customer demands for electrical power when the grid is congested, and development of a commercial process for extracting biofuels from the resin of pine trees.
Christer Jansson, a biochemist with Berkeley Lab’s Earth Sciences Division, heads a group that will receive about $4.9 million to engineer tobacco plants to produce molecules in their leaves that can be used as high-density liquid transportation fuels. The goals are to introduce genetic traits, some from cyanobacteria and green algae, that will confer hydrocarbon biosynthesis, enhance carbon uptake and optimize the plant’s utilization of sunlight. Advanced cultivation techniques will also be deployed to maximize biomass.