WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced today that Ohio will receive $3,977,349 million in federal funds to invest in programs that lessen our dependence on foreign oil, reduce carbon pollution, and create clean energy jobs across the state. The federal funds were made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and allocated by the U.S. Department of Energy's recently-formed Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy ("ARPA-E").
"Clean energy is the future of our nation, but it can also create jobs now - in Ohio," Brown said. "Done right, increased research and development of new clean energy technologies will drive innovation and reduce our dependence on foreign energy. Already in Ohio entrepreneurs and workers are leading the way."
These funds will be used for an industrially scalable bioreactor approach to incorporate genetically engineered bacteria that metabolizes carbon dioxide, oxygen, and hydrogen to produce butanol. The team anticipates at least a twofold productivity improvement over current levels and a cost that can be competitive with gasoline.
"This ARPA-e award will support a team of Ohio State and Battelle researchers who have identified a new method of converting carbon dioxide and hydrogen into butanol, using genetically modified biological organisms called chemotropes," said Caroline Whitacre, Vice President for Research at The Ohio State University. This novel approach can create an energy-dense liquid fuel supply without using petroleum, and thus can help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, as well as reducing carbon emissions. This collaborative project between The Ohio State University and Battelle brings the strengths of both organizations together to address one of the globe's most pressing issues."
ARPA-E's mission is to develop nimble, creative and inventive approaches to transform the global energy landscape while advancing America's technology leadership. ARPA-E was created to support high risk, high reward energy research that can provide transformative new solutions for climate change and energy security. In supporting these teams, ARPA-E seeks to bring together America's brightest energy innovators to pioneer a low cost, secure, and low carbon energy future for the nation.