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Roskam Announces Alternative Energy Award

Location: Washington, DC


Congressman Peter J. Roskam (R-IL) today announced a four-year U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) cooperative agreement for $3,396,186 to the Des Plaines-based Gas Technology Institute (GTI) for development of a gasification membrane reactor system for production of hydrogen from biomass.

"I am pleased to be a strong advocate for an organization on the cutting edge of alternative energy production in my district," said Roskam. "The Gas Technology Institute is a leader in developing technology that will help us lessen our dependence on foreign sources of energy and keep our environment healthy for future generations."

"GTI is excited to be a part of this Department of Energy effort to transform the nation's energy future and greatly appreciates the support of Congressman Roskam for this important initiative," said Vann Bush, managing director of GTI's Gasification Sector.

This project will evaluate new processes to produce hydrogen from renewable biomass with high efficiency and low cost using a hydrogen-selective membrane. The proposed membrane gasifier can potentially reduce the hydrogen product cost by more than 40% over the conventional biomass gasification technology.

The process being developed by GTI will be a significant step in making hydrogen a commonly-used fuel.

Hydrogen has the highest energy content of any common fuel by weight (about three times more than gasoline), making it suitable for transportation applications.

Hydrogen vehicles are starting to move from the laboratory to the road. The U.S. Postal Service, a package delivery company, a few Florida Park rangers, and a few private utility companies are also using hydrogen vehicles. It will probably be at least 10 years, though, before you can walk into your local car dealer and drive away in an affordable hydrogen-powered car.

Also, by reducing the cost of producing hydrogen, GTI's process is a step in the ability to build large hydrogen power plants.

Energy independence is a priority for Roskam. Two weeks ago, Roskam attached an amendment to legislation that will encourage alternative fuel development while simultaneously saving taxpayers $10 million.

"This is federal money well spent," said Roskam. "The government should take a more active role in encouraging alternative energy sources. With this cooperative agreement, GTI will continue to grow and along with a number of ethanol producers and other alternative energy research programs create a center of excellence for alternative fuels in Illinois."

The Gas Technology Institute is a not-for-profit research, development and training organization based in Des Plaines, IL.

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