DOE Selects Two Biofuel Development Projects for Funding

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on Aug. 27 selected two new projects to receive up to a combined total of $4 million to develop next-generation biofuels that will help reduce the cost of producing gasoline, diesel and jet fuels from biomass.

According to DOE, the two projects are part of DOE’s $17.3 million investment to develop technologies that will enable the production of clean, renewable and cost-competitive drop-in biofuels at $3 per gallon of gasoline equivalent by 2022.

DOE selected five projects in October 2014 under the same funding opportunity.

The two new competitively selected research and development projects, which are located in Texas and Ohio, will focus on lowering biofuel production costs by converting lignin to valuable products other than heat and power.

The funding includes:

  • Up to $2.5 million for Texas A&M University, in College Station, Texas, to develop a single-unit process to convert lignin for increased utilization in the production of bioplastics
  • Up to $1.5 million for Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio, to develop a continuous flow electrochemical reactor that upgrades biorefinery waste lignin to bio-based phenol substitutes with cogeneration of hydrogen

New Funding Opportunity

In a separate Aug. 26 announcement, DOE said it is making $10 million in funding available to advance the production of advanced biofuels, substitutes for petroleum-based feedstocks and bioproducts made from renewable, non-food-based biomass, such as algae, agricultural residues, and woody biomass.

DOE said it will award between $1 million and $2 million to up to four separate projects that focus on the development of novel, non-incremental technologies that facilitate the goals of the Bioenergy Technologies Office’s (BETO) Algae Program, but are not represented in a significant way in the current Algae Project Portfolio. In addition, DOE will award between $1 million and $2 million to up to six separate projects that focus on the goals of the BETO, but are not represented in a significant way in the current Terrestrial Feedstocks Supply and Logistics Program or the Conversion Technologies Program. 

Lead image: bio power plant with storage of wooden fuel (biomass) Credit: Shutterstock.

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