EMERYVILLE, Calif.--A cutting-edge facility opened here this week in the hopes of finding the next big breakthrough in biofuels.
The United States spends $300 billion a year on imported fuels, and the Department of Energy believes advanced biofuels are one way to bring that figure down and gain more energy independence.
The DOE says there are a billion tons of biomass available that could be turned into biofuels, with huge potential benefits for the United States, possibly replacing up to a third of the transportation fuels used today and about half of the imported oil.
But, it says, it will take a lot of science, technological developments, and translation from research into industry to make that happen.
A new research facility at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, called the Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit, aims to make that possible. The lab, which opened on Thursday, will provide a facility where researchers can tinker with biofuel production processes and quickly develop energy solutions for the future.