DOE JGI performs sequencing on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Research Centers. The Centers are intended to accelerate basic research in the development of cellulosic ethanol and other biofuels, advancing the federal initiative that seeks to reduce U.S. gasoline consumption by 20% within 10 years through increased efficiency and diversification of clean energy sources. The four Centers are located in geographically distinct areas and use different plants both for laboratory research and for improving feedstock crops.
Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI) led by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Announced in July 2017, CABBI is a collaboration between Illinois’ Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) and the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB), and it will include 17 partner institutions. CABBI researchers will develop fuels and products by integrating three highly interconnected DOE priority areas of Feedstock Development, Conversion, and Sustainability.
Center for Bioenergy Innovation (CBI) led by DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. CBI will pursue a host of new technologies to alleviate critical cost barriers to sustainable, economically viable production of bio-based products and advanced biofuels. The center will focus on creating robust high-yielding feedstock plants, using advanced genetic technology to accelerate the domestication of perennials. CBI will create methods for high-yield production of advanced biofuels that can be blended with existing transportation fuels. Researchers will also study ways to develop valuable byproducts from lignin left over after biomass processing.
Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) led by the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, in close collaboration with Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. This center is studying a range of plants and, in addition to exploring plant fiber breakdown, aims to increase plant production of starches and oils, which are more easily converted to fuels. This Center also has a major focus on sustainability, examining the environmental and socioeconomic implications of moving to a biofuels economy.
Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) led by DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. This center will concentrate on “model” crops of rice and Arabidopsis, in the search for game-changing breakthroughs in basic science, and is exploring microbial-based synthesis of fuels beyond ethanol.