NSF BioSensing & BioActuation/Hydrocarbons from Biomass Grants

A total of $22M-$29M funding is anticipated for 2009. 

"The EFRI topic on BioSensing and BioActuation (BSBA): Interface of Living and Engineered Systems provides an opportunity for partnerships among engineers, biologists, mathematical and physical scientists, and computer scientists to address the key elements of the fundamental research needed to understand the sensing, actuation and dynamic control employed by living things. It is expected that research proposals submitted to this solicitation will contribute to the development of a rigorous engineering framework for the design and realization of topically-relevant engineered systems and provide an intellectual framework for education in this emerging area. Proposals to develop devices or systems outside the context of such a fundamental framework will be considered unresponsive to this topic area."

"Hydrocarbons from Biomass (HyBi): The synthesis of hydrocarbon biofuels from non-food biomass represents a transformational paradigm away from bioethanol and biodiesel. These biofuels have provided a good start to the nation’s movement away from imported oil but they are now faced with issues of sustainability and CO2 emissions. Green gasoline, green diesel, and green jet fuel will fit into the existing infrastructure (motors, pipelines, and refineries) and will not incur the gas mileage penalty of ethanol-based biofuels. Potentially they are less expensive to manufacture, use less process water and have lower greenhouse gas emissions. The biomass sources for hydrocarbon biofuels are lignocellulosic energy crops such as switchgrass and poplar trees, as well as forest waste, agricultural residue and nonfood oils from plants such as jatropha and from algae. Not only can catalytic routes typical of petroleum refineries be used for the conversion of biomass into hydrocarbons, but also novel microbial routes through synthetic biology."


  • Letter of Intent: October 14, 2008
  • Preliminary Proposal: December 02, 2008
  • Full Proposal: April 30, 2009

Thanks to Denise DeLuca for the pointer!

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