DOE Awards $10.6 Million In Funding For Bioenergy Crop Research
On February 25, 2018, the University of Illinois announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded a $10.6 million grant for the Renewable Oil Generated with Ultra-productive Energycane (ROGUE) project. The project is a collaborative effort between researchers from the University of Illinois, Brookhaven National Lab, University of Florida, and Mississippi State University. ROGUE aims to transform sugarcane and Miscanthus into sustainable sources of biodiesel and biojet fuel by engineering the crops to produce oil rather than sugar. Researchers anticipate that the crops will achieve 20 percent oil content and produce as much as 15 times more biodiesel per unit of land compared to soybeans. Additionally, ROGUE aims to improve the photosynthetic efficiency of the crops to ensure that the production of energy-dense oil will not lower yields or suppress plant defenses.