WASHINGTON, June 13 (UPI) -- Washington has up to $36 million available for small-scale projects to fund biological and chemical process to make biomass fuels, the Energy Department said.
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said small-scale projects in California, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin would get funding to help improve biological and chemical process that convert non-food biomass into replacements for fossil fuels.
"Projects such as these are helping us to diversify our energy portfolio and decrease our dependence on foreign oil," Chu said in a statement. "Together with our partners, the department is working hard to expand the clean energy economy, creating jobs in America and providing sustainable replacements for the fuels and products now provided primarily by petroleum."
The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy in May said $47 million in funding through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative would increase the availability of alternative fuels in the United States, adding a layer of energy security through a diversified energy mix.
Critics claim biofuels use land that would otherwise be used for agricultural production.