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Alternative Fuels Program

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Sun Grant Initiative

The Sun Grant Initiative, through the funding of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is charged with conducting a competitive research program for land-grant universities and their partners. Each Center utilizes approximately 75% of their total funding for these grant programs.

The Sun Grant Initiative publication, developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, offers a glimpse of how the Sun Grant Initiative Centers are advancing alternative fuels research. Transportation plays a significant role in biofuels research, from examining how biomass can be moved efficiently to understanding how biofuels can help power different transportation modes. Although the Sun Grant Initiative was not reauthorized in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), USDOT funding continues through 2016 to progress this innovative research.

Hydrogen/Alternative Fuels Multi-Year Projects

Embodying RITA's core mission – effective coordination and leveraging of the Department's investment in research, development & technology ­‑ the Alternative Fuels Program allows researchers to explore the full range of alternative fuels needed to meet the nation's climate change and energy sustainability goals. The program builds upon progress made in prior years.

Funds made available through the Alternative Fuels Program facilitate cooperation and leverage investment across the Department to address alternative fuels' potential impact on transportation systems and ensure their safe and efficient deployment. The seed money this program provides allows alternative fuel researchers to collaborate with other DOT agencies and stakeholders in new ways, to develop multimodal projects that support DOT strategic goals and whose results can be shared broadly.

The program is in the process of expanding its focus from only hydrogen-based research to all alternative fuels. Since 2009, an expert panel of DOT researchers has competitively allocated most of $500,000 in annual funds to advance the state of knowledge through:

  • development of codes and standards
  • development of emergency response and safety trainings, AND
  • exploration of technologies to eliminate pipeline embrittlement and improve pipeline-welding techniques associated with the transport of hydrogen.

Hydrogen Research Grants

Name Mission/Summary Point of Contact
University of Vermont and State Agricultural College Our mission is to research, develop and field test hydrogen fuel cell and biofuel transportation technology. Dr. Domenico Grasso
33 Colchester Avenue, 109 Votey Hall
Burlington, VT 05405-0156
802-656-3390
Email: dgrasso@cems.uvm.edu
Delaware State University Our Mission is to find novel materials that can store and release large quantities of hydrogen gas at moderate temperatures and pressures in order to meet Department of Energy's object of identifying by 2015 materials that will absorb 9 wt. % hydrogen. For additional information click-on. Dr. Andrew Goudy
1200 N. DuPont Highway
Dover, DE 19901
302-857-6534
Email: agoudy@udel.edu
Website: http://chem.desu.edu/researchCenter.htm
The University of Montana Our Mission is to support DOT's work with the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) and other emergency responder organizations and federal agencies to further develop a Hydrogen Safety Training initiative. Create working prototype of a hydrogen and solar powered monorail that transports individuals in urban settings. Dr. Paul Williamson
32 Campus Dr
Missoula, MT 59812
406-243-2932
Email: williamsonrp@mso.umt.edu


Bio-Based Fuel Research Grants

Name Mission/Summary Point of Contact
Cornell University Our mission as a Regionally Coordinated Biobased R&D is to use state land grant universities to fund biofuels research on a variety of fronts -- Northeast Region Dr. Corrine Johnson Rutzke, PhD
120 Riley Robb Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
607-255-2467
Email: cfj4@cornell.edu
National Biodiesel Board Our Mission as a Biodiesel R&D is to have a major focus on emissions testing and standards development/acceptance Tom Verry
605 Clark Avenue
Jefferson City, MO 65101
800-841-5849
Email: tverry@biodiesel.org
University of Kansas Transportation Research Institute Our mission is to develop new affordable solutions to existing and future transportation problems; Become a national leader in transportation research; Develop new and licensable products and, Increase the number of spin-off companies, patents, royalty licenses, a licenses, and joint ventures with industry. Dr. Robert B. Honea, PhD
Learned Hall, 1530 W. 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66045
785-864-1828
Email: Bobh253@ku.edu
Rochester Institute of Technology Our mission includes the Development of Life-Cycle Economic and Environmental Analysis Methodologies: Document regional alternative fuel life cycle issues. Analyze Vehicle Cycle Infrastructure Impacts of Biofuel Transition. Dr. Nabil Z. Nasr, PhD
111 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623-5608
585-475-516
Email: nasr@rit.edu
Oklahoma State University Our mission as a Regionally Coordinated Biobased R&D is to use state land grant universities to fund biofuels research on a variety of fronts -- South Central Region Dr. Clarence Watson, PhD
203 Whitehurst, 214-A Agricultural Hall
Stillwater, OK 74078-6016
405-744-5398
Email: c.watson@okstate.edu
Oregon State University Our mission as a Regionally Coordinated Biobased R&D is to use state land grant universities to fund biofuels research on a variety of fronts -- Western Region Dr. Jan Auyoong, PhD
138 Strand Ag. Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331
541-737-1915
Email: Jan.Auyong@oregonstate.edu
South Dakota State University Our mission as a Regionally Coordinated Biobased R&D is to use state land grant universities to fund biofuels research on a variety of fronts -- North Central Region Dr. James Doolittle, PhD
100 Administration Ln, Old Foundation Bldg
Brookings, SD 57007-1998
605-696-7870
Email: James.Doolittle@sdstate.edu
University of Tennessee Our mission as a Regionally Coordinated Biobased R&D is to use state land grant universities to fund biofuels research on a variety of fronts -- Southeastern Region Dr. Timothy Rials, PhD
2506 Jacob Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996
865-946-1129
Email: trials@utk.edu