March 09, 2005

Crapo Announces U Of I Biofuel Grant

Senator visited campus research facility in August

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo today announced the University of Idahoâ??s Biofuels Research Program will receive a $190,000 federal grant for work on a biofuel fuel education program. The new money assists efforts to continue biofuel research work and educate the public about the effort on the Moscow campus that has become a model for the nation. Crapo toured the facility on the Moscow campus during a visit on August 27th.The new federal funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture will help promote the use of biofuels and continue the research efforts blending alcohol fuels with agricultural products, such as soybean oil. Dr. Charles Peterson, Project Director for the Department of Biological and Agriculture Engineering, indicates the work being done at the U of I has increased national interest in the use of biofuel fuels. The efforts include the promotion of a Volkswagen beetle on campus that runs on biofuel products.â??This announcement is timely as we work in the Senate to push alternative fuel sources like biodiesel and ethanol,â?? said Crapo, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. â??Our national energy portfolio must expand to make better use of these agricultural fuels, and promoting the work being done right here in Idaho is right on target as we work on a comprehensive national Energy Bill in the U.S. Senate. I was most impressed by the research efforts by Dr. Peterson and his team, and commend Idahoâ??s efforts as a national leader in biofuels development.â??Crapo, Governor Kempthorne, the State Energy Division of the Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR), and others have also promoted the trial use of B-20 biodiesel fuel products in school busses and other state transportation vehicles. The sale of biodiesel to the general public in Idaho has also begun over the last year at convenience store pumps from Shoshone to Boise and Vale, Oregon. More than 207,000 gallons of B20 have been used in the Idaho demonstration project. "This is excellent news both for the University of Idaho and for the Idaho biofuels development programs. We view it as providing a powerful tool in the ongoing efforts both at the U of I and the IDWR Energy Division to develop and expand the market use and production of biofuels in Idaho," said IDWR Director Karl J. Dreher.# # #