JBEI and Its Mission
The Joint BioEnergy Institute or JBEI (pronounced jay-bay) is one of three Bioenergy Research Centers created by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in 2007 to advance the development of biofuels — liquid fuels derived from the solar energy stored in plant biomass that can replace gasoline, diesel and jet fuels. JBEI is a multi-institutional partnership that is led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and includes the Sandia National Laboratories, the University of California (UC) campuses of Berkeley and Davis, the Carnegie Institution for Science, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and, starting in October 2012, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. JBEI's 150 scientists, engineers and support staff, are currently headquartered in EmeryStation East, a state-of-the-art laboratory building in Emeryville, CA.
The mission of JBEI is to carry out the basic scientific research needed to enable the wide-scale use of lignocellulosic biomass — the most abundant organic material on earth — as advanced biofuels. These fuels are sustainable, meaning their supply can be renewed, and carbon-neutral, meaning they would not add to the atmospheric carbon levels exacerbating global climate change. Numerous studies have shown that advanced biofuels can replace gasoline on a gallon-for-gallon basis with no change in today's combustion engines or in the existing pipeline and service station infrastructure. Advanced biofuels s can also replace diesel and jet fuels.
Synthesized from biomass produced in the United States, advanced biofuels would generate revenue and jobs and would enhance national security by helping to make our country more independent of foreign oil. Clean air, sustainable transportation fuels and energy independence are the drivers behind JBEI and its mission.
Harnessing this energy through the production of advanced biofuels, could meet most if not all of the nation's annual transportation energy needs without producing carbon emissions that contribute to global climate change. That is the JBEI challenge.