Mar 202007
Authors: Emily Polak

CSU will be part of an initiative that will bring together businesses and research institutions to make Colorado a leader in the development of renewable energy and biofuel, the governor announced earlier this week.

The Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels (C2B2) is a program that brings together state research universities, large and small businesses and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in an effort to make Colorado a world leader in renewable energy.

“We are very quickly establishing ourselves as a state that is open for business in one of the most important industries of the 21st century,” said Evan Dreyer, spokesman for Gov. Bill Ritter.

In 2006, the state established a collaborative between CSU, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Colorado School of Mines and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The collaborative was designed to bring together the research institutions to move Colorado in the direction of renewable energy leadership.

“Using the strengths of four institutions moves the technology forward faster,” said George Douglas, spokesmen for NREL.

The C2B2 funding partners represent traditional fossil fuel companies including Conoco Phillips, Shell Global Solutions and Chevron as well as small, local companies such as Blue Sun Biodiesal and Solix Biofuels.

“Partnerships are the key to bringing bio fuels to large-scale productions,” said Russell Johnson, Chevron spokesman. “Some of the best and brightest minds are found on college campuses.”

State and national representatives have expressed widespread support for the collaboration. Sen. Ken Salazar and Reps. Mark Udall and Ed Perlmutter were present at the announcement of the C2B2 on Monday by Ritter.

“CSU is in the forefront,” said John Kefalas, a Fort Collins Democrat. “We have tremendous research and leadership capability.”

Fellowships will be awarded to undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students to participate in research at CSU. The sponsoring companies will also present problems that they are interested in solving through research that they will fund.

Kenneth Reardon, a professor in the department of chemical and biological engineering, expects crop science and plant biotechnology departments to be in high demand for research projects.

“Students involved in this will be uniquely trained,” Reardon said. ‘These opportunities do not exist everywhere.”

By participating in the projects students will have the opportunity to be involved in the newest research and technology as well as make contacts in the field.

CSU is hosting a symposium on biofuels on April 11-12 in which the challeneges and opportunities of involvement in the field will be discussed.

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