News : Boosting Biofuels

Jul 17, 2012

Published in the Portsmouth Herald

By Michael McCord

PORTSMOUTH — A series of new federal funding grants to boost research in biofuel innovation could have a positive impact on the growing biofuel production and distribution industries in New Hampshire.

Last week, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Navy and Energy announced $30 million in federal funding to match private investments for the rapid development of so-called advanced drop-in biofuels. The Energy Department also announced $32 million in new investments for earlier stage research.

Simply Green, one of the region's largest distributors of biofuels, has developed a growing customer base for its markets in home heating oil and automobile biodiesel. Joel Bobbett, Simply Green's general manager, said this broad federal biofuel initiative could pay long-term dividends in part because it's hard for the biofuel industry to match the infrastructure capacity of the petroleum industry.

"This is some desperately needed infrastructural support for biofuels," Bobbett said. "By giving producers more tools to control costs, this should alleviate some of the price gap between biofuels and traditional petroleum. There are active biodiesel production facilities in New Hampshire that can meet additional demand were they to have access to something like this."

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