Cool Planet Energy Gets Grant To Turn Beetle-Killed Wood Into Biofuel

Residents of the Rocky Mountain region are quite familiar by now with the thousands of acres of beetle killed wood--victims of Bark beetles which have infested forests across Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and beyond. In a move by the US Department of Argiculture (USDA) to try to figure out what to do with all that wood, the department has awarded a grant to local biofuels startup Cool Planet Energy Systems, to figure out how to convert that wood into biofuel. According to Cool Planet, the awarde came from the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), to the Bioenergy Alliance Network of the Rockies (BANR)--which also includes researchers from Colorado State University, the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), University of Wyoming, University of Montana, Montana State University, University of Idaho, and the USDA Forest Service, and the Rocky Mountain Research Station. CSU is the lead on the grant. Cool Planet did not say how much of the grant will go towards the company, but said it will be working on technology for the conversion of the biomass into biofuels as part of the effort. Photo courtesy Vicky Hamilton, via Flickr.