June 23, 2022

US announces $59 million to boost use of biofuels

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced $59 million to accelerate the production of biofuels and bioproducts to reduce emissions in industries such as maritime.

The department said it focuses on applied research, development and deployment to improve performance and reduce the cost of biofuel production technologies and large-scale production systems in partnership with industry. “By reducing cost and technical risk, these efforts can help pave the way for the biofuels industry to deploy commercial-scale integrated biorefineries,” the DOE said. “Breakthroughs from this funding will support President Biden and the DOE’s goals to advance the use of bioenergy, achieve cost-competitive biofuels, and achieve a zero-carbon economy by 2050.”

“Energy harnessed from plants and waste presents a huge opportunity to reduce emissions from hard-to-decarbonize sectors such as aviation, rail and shipping, while supporting high-quality jobs in America. rural,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm. “The DOE’s investment in biofuels is a key part of the Biden administration’s efforts to support clean energy technologies that increase our energy independence and move us closer to a net-zero carbon economy.”

The marine and aviation sectors require higher energy densities to avoid frequent stops to refuel for long flights, international shipping routes, and rail routes across the country, making these industries difficult to decarbonize. Electrification is currently unable to meet these requirements, but sustainable, energy-dense liquid biofuels are becoming a strong alternative to meet these needs.

The announcement of the “Scale-Up of Integrated Biorefineries” funding opportunity (FOA) will advance biorefinery development and feedstock enhancement projects in accordance with a broader DOE strategy to support biorefinery projects that can produce sustainable renewable diesel and fuel for aviation, marine and rail at every stage of development. Driving innovation from the lab to the market helps develop production-scale biofuel technologies and creates economic incentives for companies to adopt them.

The funding also supports DOE’s Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge goal of enabling the production of three billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel per year by 2030 and 35 billion gallons per year by 2050, sufficient to meet 100% of US aviation fuel demand. This is the second in a series of “Scale-Up” FOAs. In September 2021, the DOE awarded $64 million to 22 projects focused on developing technologies and processes that produce low-cost, low-carbon biofuels. This FOA should finance between four and 20 projects.

FOA integrated biorefinery scale-up applicants must submit a concept paper by 5:00 p.m. EST on or before July 8, 2022, in order to submit a full application. To apply, applicants must register and submit application materials through a DOE online application portal at https://eere-Exchange.energy.gov. An informational webinar for potential applicants will be held on June 15, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. EST. The full solicitation is also available on Grants.gov.


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