DOE's Initiatives on EHECs
A part of DOE’s mission is to promote U.S. energy security by providing reliable, clean, and affordable energy and to strengthen U.S. technological leadership and economic competitiveness through advancements in science and technology. Within DOE, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) focuses research on Engineered High Energy Crops (EHECs) by exploring market-transforming technologies. Learn more about ARPA-E
Through advanced research programs, ARPA-E hopes to substantially reduce foreign energy imports, reduce energy-related emissions including greenhouse gases, and improve efficiency across the energy spectrum. One such ARPA-E program, the Plants Engineered to Reduce Oil (PETRO) Program, is experimenting with a variety of plants—including pine trees, tobacco, sugarcane, and sorghum—to produce more efficiently grown and easily extracted agricultural-based biofuels. The proposed programs aim to deploy EHECs that produce more energy per acre and produce fuel molecules that require little or no processing prior to being introduced into existing energy infrastructure (e.g., refineries, pipelines, and vehicles), thus enabling agriculturally-derived fuels that are cost-competitive with petroleum-based fuels. Programs that catalyze the deployment of EHECs to market, including development and demonstration field trials, would further the mission and strategic goals of DOE. Learn more about the ARPA-E PETRO program
Development of EHEC programs would further the mission/goals of DOE and ARPA-E—not to mention others—by catalyzing the deployment of EHECs that produce more energy per acre and produce molecules that require little or no processing prior to being introduced into existing infrastructure (e.g., refineries, pipelines, and vehicles), thus enabling agriculturally-derived fuels that are cost-competitive with petroleum-based fuels. Field trials are a key component of demonstrating the viability of EHECs (and critical to bring these crops to market).
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