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Center for Bioenergy Innovation

Project Details

Funding Source
Office of Science

The Center for Bioenergy Innovation (CBI), led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), is custom engineering feedstock plants and microbes for a sustainable bioeconomy. CBI builds on a robust legacy of scientific understanding to provide breakthroughs for a new generation of cost-effective, environmentally positive, and industrially relevant bioproducts and biofuels, including sustainable aviation fuels.

The vision for CBI is to accelerate domestication of bioenergy-relevant plants and microbes to enable high-impact, value-added, co-product development at multiple points in the bioenergy supply chain. Our central, integrated focus areas are described below.

Plant genomics and bioengineering — Developing sustainable biomass crops, including perennial nonfood crops that thrive in the suboptimal environment of marginal lands; require less water, fertilizer, and pesticide; and are more easily broken down and converted to advanced biofuels and bioproducts

Conversion processes — Improving processes using microbes engineered to simultaneously break down and convert plant biomass into key molecules, which are then catalytically upgraded to create drop-in blendstocks for biofuels such as sustainable aviation fuels while increasing efficiency and lowering costs of production

Value-added products — Using new microbes and methods to convert the lignin residuals from bioprocessing into valuable products such as renewable chemicals that replace petroleum-based feedstocks

CBI is one of four Biological and Environmental Research (BER) Centers within the Department of Energy’s Office of Science created to expand on the foundational successes of former bioenergy research centers and to lay the scientific groundwork for a new robust, biobased economy.

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